Two Ex-CIA Agents Hunt for One of Escobar’s Cocaine Smuggling Submarines

By Kelly Burch 01/26/18

Escobar's submarines were rumored to have been able to carry up to 2,000 kilos of cocaine.

divers searching the water for the missing submarine
Photo via YouTube

Two ex-CIA agents are trying to find a sunken submarine reportedly filled with cocaine that belonged to Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel.

The cartel reportedly used submarines to transport cocaine to Puerto Rico during the height of the operation’s power in the 1980s. From there, the drugs were loaded onto speedboats bound for Miami and the lucrative American market.  

“The sub would arrive and park and we only worked as loaders,” one man told the CIA agents, who were filming a documentary with Discovery UK. “They would arrive around 1 a.m. The submarine surfaced and everyone would get nervous.” 

The submarines are said to have been able to carry up to 2,000 kilos of cocaine. Escobar is known to have owned at least two. 

“We would hand over the cargo and it would leave,” the man said. “And then within a week the boats would be back out with their cargo and again with the storing, storing and storing.”  

Former agents Doug Laux and Ben Smith believe that one of the submarines sank off the Puerto Rican coast. In their documentary, they interviewed locals and worked with a diving team to try to find the sunken submarine. When the former cartel worker showed them where the submarine used to dock, they planned a dive to see if there would be evidence of the submarine on the sea floor.

“We found something like a box, but finally it was a batter from a boat. Maybe something wrecked there before...” the diver said after surfacing. “It’s not like you wanted.” 

During the 1980s Pablo Escobar had become one of the most notorious drug smugglers in the world. In 1989 he was named the seventh richest person in the world, with an estimated worth of $56 billion. His cocaine operation was reportedly bringing in $22 billion each year. 

Escobar was killed during a raid by the U.S. and Colombian governments in 1993. After his death, many people have tried to track down the riches he left behind. Escobar stored his money in hidden pockets throughout the Colombian jungle, and much of it is reportedly still unrecovered. 

In 2009, $8 million of Escobar’s cash was found hidden in the jungle, and more recently, in 2015, a Colombian farmer reportedly discovered $600 million buried in a field. 

Still, treasure hunters try to find any remaining cash, vehicles and other remnants of the infamous cartel. 

See the entire clip below:

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
Kelly Burch Contrib.jpg

Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.