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New Law Counters the Semisubmersible Smuggling Threat

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 79 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2010 Pages: 26-32
Douglas A. Kash J.D.; Eli White
Date Published
March 2010
7 pages
This article presents an overview of the 2008 Drug Trafficking Vessel Interdiction Act, a legal deterrent to the use of self-propelled semisubmersible vessels to transport drugs into the United States.
A relatively new technique for smuggling drugs into the United States has been the launching of self-propelled semisubmersible (SPSS) vessels. These submersibles typically deliver drugs to other vessels at sea and then are scuttled after offloading and ultimately shipped vial land routes into the United States. On October 13, 2008, the Drug Trafficking Vessel Interdiction Act (DTVIA) was signed into law, and was a direct response to the use of SPSS vessels to transport vast amounts of illegal drugs through international waters to the United States. The enactment of the DTVIA is a potentially strong tool to deter the use of SPSS vessels to transport illegal drugs. Since its enactment, law enforcement agencies have encountered six SPSS vessels that were scuttled and sunk by its occupants in an attempt to avoid detection. 30 endnotes