THE Suriname police have arrested three Colombians in connection with the find of a narcotics submarine in a remote river last week and more arrests are expected.
According to the authorities, “it is likely that Surinamese nationals provided support (to whoever operated the boat) for drug transports.”
The flat, semi-submersible vessel was found by a “Special Team of Investors” who launched a search after a tip.
The boat was stuck in the mud of a shallow river in District Saramacca, just off the coast with neighbouring Guyana.
The police reported that the engine of the submarine appeared broken.
It is also not known when it entered Suriname.
The Colombians were apprehended in its immediate vicinity.
However, their identities and involvement with the boat were not provided.
According to the police, they are concerned as the drug trade can disturb the social and economic order in the country.
The law officers also stated that they are in the process of identifying criminal gangs “to prevent our country from being characterised as a place where it is easy to ship narcotics through. [But] our open borders represent a big challenge”.
The authorities say the Colombians were cooperating with neighbouring countries to be able to battle the transshipment of illegal drugs in a targeted manner.”
This is not the first time a narcotics submarine has been found in this section of South America.
The first vessel of this kind was found on August 14, 2014 in a tributary of the Waini River, near the country’s north-west border with Venezuela.
It was believed that it was part of a large-scale operation by transport groups that were serious about trafficking illicit goods across the Atlantic Ocean. (CMC)