Container ship released on bail
The Swiss shipping company MSC has paid a $ 50 million bail to the US authorities to release the "MSC Gayane", which was seized with 18 tons of cocaine on board. There was no presumption that there is any correlation between the large drug victim and the shipping company, but six crew members have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The agreement between the MSC and the US authorities also implied that the MSC has promised to return the ship to the United States within 90 days if the US authorities requested it. Several of the arrested crew members, including the ship's second mate, have allegedly admitted that they have actively participated in the smuggling, or have been well paid for nothing to see or hear. The "MSC Gayane" was en route to Rotterdam on July 16.
U.S. Authorities Seize MSC Gayane After Record Drug Bust
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized the MSC Gayane following last month’s record seizure of 20 tons of cocaine hidden in containers on board the vessel at the Port of Philadelphia. The CBP said Monday that the vessel was seized July 4 after CBP agents executed a seizure warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The seizure follows last month’s record drug bust at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia which netted 39,525 pounds of cocaine worth a street value of about $1.3 billion, making it the largest cocaine seizure in the 230-year history of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Several crew members have been arrested in connection to the drugs, which were allegedly loaded during from small boats at sea.
Hearings slated for container ship crew after drug seizure
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Detention hearings are scheduled in Philadelphia for six crew members of a Swiss-owned container ship following the seizure of more than 35,000 pounds, or more than 15,800 kilograms, of cocaine. The six crew members of the MSC Gayane are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday detention hearings on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine aboard a ship. Authorities said they boarded the ship about a week ago for a routine screening but detected anomalies while examining seven shipping containers. They said the drugs found on the vessel, which was sailing under a Liberian flag, had an estimated street value of $1.1 billion. Source : WBRZUpload News