The Billion Dollar Submarine

The drug trade rose to prominence in the middle of the 20th century as one of the western hemisphere's most lucrative, perilous, and romanticized industries. This trade, which was a far cry from the Opium Wars, was accompanied by tales of glitter, wealth, murder, and getting away with it, all of which fanned the flames of interest and suffused the populace from New York to Bogotá with horror.
A lot of people become wealthy, but probably none is more well-known than Pablo Escobar, who at his peak was counted among Forbes' billionaires. He attracted the public's attention and distinguished himself as a historical star.

Standing guard at a submarine. Image: Discovery UK

Escobar was actually fairly inventive in his techniques, as one would expect, before he was shot dead in a last shootout that would make any cowboy blush. As he accumulated money, he expanded the cartel by purchasing cars and trucks, then airplanes, and ultimately, at his height, two submarines. At least one of these submarines made it to the ocean's floor.

Fortunately for us, the CIA kept tabs on every move Escobar's cartel made while the information was accessible. Actually, this is a map.

Former CIA officers Doug Laux and Ben Smith are currently diving at an undisclosed site in the Caribbean Sea, off the Atlantic coast of Colombia, in search of an incredible discovery.

Pablo Escobar's sunk submarine is lost.

Searching for clues. Image: Discovery UK

What happened to Escobar's purported $70 billion riches has long been a mystery to many. There are a variety of theories. The straightforward ones tell how his money was put in liquid assets for his family and how much of it was simply spent or given away, all in an effort to protect his ideas and keep his associates safe. The kingpin buried money in caverns, deep in the forest, and other remote locations around Colombia, which is on the more extreme end of the scale but is also probably true.

Nevertheless, part of it might be buried beneath the water.

Submarines played a significant role in Escobar's operation. They would transport up to 2,000 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia to Puerto Rico at any given time. Speedboats would then transport the drugs to Miami from there. After that, the drugs would be sold all throughout the country, sparking hit songs and indie movies there as well. However, they left behind cartel battles, violence, robberies, and overall unhappiness in their wake.

The missing treasure caught the attention of the ex-CIA agents. They wanted to figure out what happened to all the money for both personal and professional reasons. There must be a lot of money with the number of medicines the submarine is carrying. Some predict that if the wreck were discovered, $350,000,000 would also be discovered. Others think it's actually a billion-dollar submarine.

Laux and Smith got in touch with a former Escobar colleague who was ready to take them to the place where the submarine was loaded during its active days in order to establish its general location. They obtained information about the location of the vast drug network through interviews with members of it. The interested pair are skilled scuba divers, so they might explore the ocean below in quest of the drug lord's hidden loot.

An in-depth examination of what could be a safe. Image: Discovery UK

When they reached the bottom, they discovered indications suggesting a wreck might have happened nearby. The presence of scrap metal, equipment, containers, and a wide range of other materials indicates that they are actively on the hunt. Considering that Laux's job involved discovering information that others desired to keep private, it is clear that he will continue to seek the truth even 25 years after the criminal's death.

The two were filmed for the Discovery UK series "Finding Escobar's Millions," one of many programs capitalizing on Escobar's return of notoriety in the media. They aren't the only ones searching for gold. In 2009, explorers discovered eight million dollars at a forest refuge. A wealthy restaurant owner who purchased one of Escobar's mansions in Miami has just started examining the property because he believes some of the missing money may be hidden there.

For the rest of us, it's time to get ready because, despite the fact that the explorers have located the sub with solid proof and testimony, they haven't yet made any significant discoveries. However, it is guiding the diving community in the right way. Hey, hook a writer up if you end up being the fortunate one after reading this piece.


– Todd Allen Williams, Senior Editor

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