MADRID (AP) — Spanish police Tuesday managed to tow a sunken submarine believed to be carrying tons of cocaine into a northwestern port and began preparations to extract its cargo.
Police were hoping to crane-lift the 20-meter (65-foot) submarine onto the dock at Port of Aldán so that they could get inside more easily, an official from the government’s office in the province of Pontevedra said.
The submarine sank as police tried to intercept it Sunday in the Aldán inlet in the northwestern region of Galicia. It wasn’t clear if the crew, two of whom have been arrested, sank it on purpose.
Work on bringing the vessel ashore began Monday in bad weather and had to be suspended.
Spanish authorities said it was the first time a submarine had been found to be used in drug trafficking in the country. Police divers pulled out one package of cocaine from the vessel Monday.
Media reports said the vessel could be carrying three metric tons, but the official said this couldn’t be confirmed yet. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with government rules.
Police were still searching for a third crew member who managed to flee.
Spanish police had been monitoring the vessel´s movements in recent days in coordination with international police.
The official couldn’t say from which country the submarine had come, but media reports said police suspected it to have set off from Colombia.