As CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 broadly reports, Ukraine uses remote-controlled sea drones in fight against Russia. Those vessels are faster than anything in the Black Sea and capable of covering up to 800 km (500 miles). Some social media users say the new Ukrainian technologies could trigger huge interest from the Colombian drug cartels. Narco-traffickers from Latin America have been building long distance remote-controlled sea drones to smuggle drugs to the U.S. and Europe for decades. The U.S. Coast Guard forces have seized a number of such custom-built mini-submarines full of cocaine bricks, departed from the Colombian coast.
Police in Europe also catch such sea drones used to smuggle drugs across the Mediterranean and even the Atlantic. Experts say those drug-traffickers’ submarines are technically far from perfect. That’s why the Ukrainian advances in drone technologies, generously provided by the U.S., Britain and other countries, could spur a real ‘narco-submarine’ boom in the Western Hemisphere far from Ukraine.
Colombian soldiers guard a homemade vessel in Tumaco, southern Colombia, 2008
According to the CNN report, the latest versions of the Ukrainian sea drones weigh up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds), with an explosive payload of up to 300 kilograms (661 pounds), a range of 800 kilometers (500 miles) and maximum speed of 80 kph (50 mph). The explosive can be easily replaced with cocaine or methamphetamine, that is most popular in recent years in the U.S. and EU countries.
The Ukrainian sea drones are also very good for the gangs because they can be deployed quickly and without the need for a fully-trained crew. Common sea drone features include built-in cameras which beam back images to the person controlling it. Long-range targets are typically pre-programmed into the drones when launched. They are then guided remotely by a human as they close in on the target. They can be also controlled via the STARLINK satellite Internet system that is promised by Elon Musk to soon entangle almost the entire globe.
A semi-submersible vessel that was caught in the Pacific Ocean with about seven tons of cocaine, is docked at the US Coast Guard base in Florida, 2009
According to social media, the emissaries of the Colombian drug gangs in Europe have already been instructed to find out from their Ukrainian business partners the possibility of acquiring a batch of new sea drones and technical documentation for their production from Ukraine’s armed forces. Therefore, it is highly likely that the flows of Colombian cocaine to the United States and Europe in the nearest future will be loaded not on homemade submarines, but on technically advanced watercraft from the Armed Forces of Ukraine.