A US Coast Guard crew intercepted a submarine suspected of smuggling cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean earlier this month.

While on routine patrol in the eastern Pacific on 5 September, US Coast Guard Cutter Valiant's crew intercepted a 40-foot long self-propelled semi-submersible in international waters carrying approximately 12,000 pounds (around 5,400kg) of cocaine, worth over $165 million.

Some 500kg of cocaine was removed from the vessel and four suspected drug smugglers were later taken into custody.

Several thousand additional kilograms of cocaine estimated to be aboard the vessel could not be removed due to stability and safety problems and the semi-submersible was later sunk as a hazard to navigation.