Posted On: 04-10-2019
U.S. authorities have seized over 16 tons of cocaine from an MSC containership at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, prosecutors said on June 18. The drugs were seized from the 2018-built Neopanamax MSC Gayane and represent the largest drug interdiction in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, according to officials. Mediterranean Shipping Company said it was aware of reports of the incident, adding that it takes this matter “very seriously and is grateful to the authorities for identifying any suspected abuse of its services.” As explained, the seized cargo of around 16 tons of cocaine has a street value of over USD 1 billion. Members of the ship’s crew have been arrested and charged, and the investigation is ongoing. At least two members of the ship’s crew were charged with helping load the cocaine onto the MSC Gayane while it was at sea, local media cited court documents. A total of 14 boats are said to have approached the vessel on two separate occasions, while the crew helped transfer bales of cocaine from the boats to the containership. Other crew members were also allegedly involved.