Cocaine-laden submarines and soundproofed torture chambers show that drug cartel madness has landed on our shores from South America.
Her week 11 men put on trial in Amsterdam for their role in setting up a gangland prison, where horrific torment was planned for their victims.
“We’ll start when the buses arrive. No mercy,” one of the prime suspects read his plan to the other.
Meanwhile, seven men in Spain are now serving time sailing a narco-submarine across the Atlantic with three tons of cocaine.
Lucky to avoid drowning or suffocating during their 27-day journey, their epic criminal journey underscores the huge profits made by criminal networks like the Kinahan Cartel.
As the submarine crew discovered, little thought was given to their comfort or safety when it came to making money.
Agustin lvarez (31) was jailed for 11 years for operating a semi-submersible narco-submarine carrying 3,068 kg of cocaine from Brazil, worth an estimated €123 million.
Ecuadorian cousins Luis Tomas Benítez Manzaba and Pedro Roberto Delgado Manzaba also got 11 years behind bars.
Four other Spaniards who conspired with Alvarez to obtain the sub coast were jailed for between seven and nine years.
The case made headlines around the world when a 21.5 meter fiberglass sub was intentionally drowned in Galician Cove on November 24, 2019.
The submarine named ‘Che’ covered a range of 3,500 miles and became the first fully loaded narco-submarine to be discovered in Europe.
The story has already inspired a book, a documentary and a drama series telling the story of the crew, who hoped to make a small fortune for their efforts on behalf of the drug lords.
Crime journalist Javier Romero wrote a book, Operation Black Tide, about the case and why the men decided to engage in such a dangerous and criminal escape.
In late February, a play inspired by the case, also titled Operation Black Tide, will debut on Amazon Prime. The fantasy series will also be followed by a four-part documentary on Amazon in March called Operation Black Tide: The Suicide Journey.
Initially, mystery surrounded the presence of a half-submerged submarine off Spain’s northwest coast on Sunday morning.
It soon emerged that the crew had run out of fuel after two failed attempts to reach offshore with the other boats.
The three crew members were dismayed after planning for doubling their transatlantic voyage.
He spent almost a month in a dark, smelly cabin behind three tons of cocaine and 20,000 liters of fuel.
They used plastic bags as toilets, surviving on energy bars, rice, biscuits and sardines. Former boxing champion Alvarez approached three childhood friends in his hometown of Vigo to successfully wean off cocaine.
Their efforts were doomed from the start, with an international expedition to locate the submarine throughout and await its arrival in Galicia.
Shortly after, three of the crew were arrested.
With the men now serving their time behind bars, Che is on show at the National Police Academy museum in vila.
A second narco-sub has since been discovered in Spain. This one was built in Málaga and was built to carry three tons of drugs.
Painted sky blue and disguised to look like a yacht above the waterline, police officers, who first found it during a drug raid, thought it was a carnival float.
While submarines may be a source of fascination, the extreme violence of the infamous Colombian and Mexican cartels is terrifying.
Torture, mutilation, and homicide are common in South America, where the huge profits from cocaine have corrupted the entire country.
So when a soundproof torture chamber was discovered in the Netherlands it confirmed that this kind of terror had arrived in Europe.
It was part of a complex of seven sea containers built and ready for use as an underworld prison.
The gangsters plan to cut off the rivals’ fingers and toes and throw them into the water in a hidden torture chamber for money.
Eleven people accused of setting up a torture chamber over this gruesome conspiracy went on trial this week.
Footage of a horrific underground torture chamber in a shipping container made headlines around the world when it was discovered by police in 2020.
Police found a complex of hidden containers that the gang was using after French police cracked an encrypted Encrochat messaging service.
Items discovered included scalpels, pliers, scissors, a finger clamp, a claw hammer and a gas burner as well as police uniforms, bulletproof vests, flashing blue lights and a spacious freezer with enough room for two people.
According to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service: “The six containers were intended to detain people. They were insulated inside and were equipped with handcuffs and a chemical toilet.
“The seventh sea container was called a ‘treatment room’ by the suspects, and was a treatment chair complete with cuffs, belts and bandages for tying the arms, legs, and head.”
One of the prime suspects texted “They’re all going to get their turn sooner or later. How long are they going to hide.
“We’ll start when the buses arrive. No mercy.”
Another replied that while this was not his territory in general, he hoped he would “get a chance to torture them.”
Prosecutors have said: “The suspects had two sites at their disposal, a ‘headquarters’ in Rotterdam for their ‘arrest team’ and the site at Wauwe Plantage, which they called ‘our EBI’.”
EBI Vugh, a high-security prison in the Netherlands where several notorious criminals, including associates of the Kinahan cartel, have been detained.
“What we are seeing here is the reverse side of the recreational use of cocaine in the Netherlands and neighboring countries.
“Our society is in danger of getting used to it,” prosecutors said.
The judges are expected to pronounce the verdict in May after the public hearing ends this week.