[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2006, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Spanish police find 'drugs' sub
The submarine found off Galicia
The sub was "home-made" in Spain (Picture: Faro de Vigo)
A submarine which police say may have been used for cocaine smuggling has been found floating off Spain's north-western coast.

It was spotted by a member of the public in an inlet along the rugged coastline on Sunday.

No drugs were found on board the vessel, but it is now being dismantled at a shipyard in Moana, near Vigo.

It is reported to be about 10m (33ft) long, made by amateurs from basic materials, not by professionals.

It is an example of how narco-traffickers are advancing in technology
Jaime Gonzalez, journalist
Jaime Gonzalez, a journalist in the north-western city of Santiago de Compostela, told the BBC World Service's Europe Today programme that the region was well-known as a gateway for drugs into Europe.

Technical problem

While submarines are not known to have been used for drug trafficking in Spain, they have been used for this purpose in Colombia.

Map of Spain
"It could take drugs from a ship in the ocean and take them to the coast without being seen," Mr Gonzalez said.

"There has been nothing like this before in Spain. It is an example of how narco-traffickers are advancing in technology."

Mr Gonzalez said it was thought that the submarine could have been built in southern Spain, in Andalucia, and brought to the north-western region of Galicia by road.

He said one theory was that the vessel was undergoing tests when a technical problem arose.

The owners may have been planning to return to it, he added, if the police had not got there first.

Cocaine 'smuggled in pizza oven'
25 Apr 06 |  Americas
Colombian police find drugs sub
26 Mar 05 |  Americas


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific