Colombian authorities say towing drugs in these so-called “narco torpedos” is a new trafficking technique favored by the country’s drug cartels.
According to InSight Crime, the drugs are loaded onto a torpedo-shaped container, which is attached to the bottom of a boat by a cable. The drug-carrying boat sets off with other boats. One boat acts as a decoy to divert the authorities’ attention so the other boats, including the one carrying the drugs, can get a away. If the drug-carrying boat is intercepted, it releases the torpedo to avoid detection. The torpedo then releases a buoy that emits a GPS signal, allowing it to be recovered by another boat.
Univision reported that the narco torpedo was developed back in 2000. An earlier version used a radio-transmitter. Other variations include attaching the drug-laden torpedoes to the bottom of freight ships to be retrieved by divers at night after the vessel has docked at port.