Azania Post/ Agencies
While narcotics smuggling continues to pose a real and tangible world threat more than 17 tons of coccaine with an estimated street value of about $1.1 billion is reported to have been seized from a Liberian-Flagged container ship in a multi-agency inspection. This contraband was part of green pepper export.
A joint press conference held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia was told that this multi-agency seizure involving seven shipping containers aboard MSC Gayane was a CBP record.
The operation took several days whereby CBP and HSI and authorities and U.S. Coast Guard detected anomalies while examining seven shipping containers aboard the 1,030-foot container ship.
The team escorted it to a port in South Philadelphia. Containers were unloaded and escorted to CBP’s Centralized Examination Station where a total of 15,582 bricks totaling more than 35,000 pounds tested positive for coccaine worth $1.2.billion plus a total of $56,330.
CBP termed this discovery extremely unfortunate “particularly when such activities are perpetuated by the crew members of a commercial vessel”. Six crews were arrested.
On its part, HSI pledged to “vigorously pursue investigations that target drug trafficking organizations engaged in the worldwide smuggling of dangerous narcotics.”