USD 1 Bn Worth of Cocaine Seized from MSC Ship in Philadelphia

The vessel had previously called in Colombia, Chile, Panama and the Bahamas, and was bound for Europe.

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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.

The US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania said members of the ship’s crew had been arrested and charged, with investigations ongoing. According to reports at least to crew members had been charged with trafficking.

“Unfortunately, shipping and logistics companies are from time to time affected by trafficking problems. MSC has a longstanding history of cooperating with US federal law enforcement agencies to help disrupt illegal narcotics trafficking and works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” it added.

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