JP Morgan Ship Seized After $1.3 Billion Cocaine Shipment Found In Cargo

Written by on July 13, 2019 in Agencies & Systems, Government with 0 Comments

Image Credit: Truth Theory

By John Vibes | Truth Theory

Last month, a record-setting cocaine shipment was confiscated in the ports of Philadelphia, and in the weeks since, information has surfaced showing that the ship transporting the drugs was owned by the JP Morgan bank.

In the bust last month, US Customs and Border Patrol agents confiscated nearly 40,000 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $1.3 billion, making it the largest single cocaine bust in US history.

The illegal cargo was being transported by a ship called the MSC Gayane, which is operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co. and owned by JP Morgan. Last week, Customs officials announced that they would be seizing the ship, after it sat in the port for nearly a month after the raid.

Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore, says that this was the largest vessel ever to be seized by US customs.

“The MSC Gayane is the largest vessel seized in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s 230-year history and follows the record seizure of almost 20-tons of cocaine discovered on the vessel. Seizing a vessel of this size is an unusual enforcement action for CBP, but is indicative of the serious consequences associated with an alleged conspiracy by crewmembers and others to smuggle a record load of dangerous drugs through the United States.  This action serves as a reminder for all shipping lines and vessel masters of their responsibilities under U.S. and international law to implement and enforce stringent security measures to prevent smuggling attempts such as this,” Durst said in a statement.

U.S. Attorney McSwain said that it was unprecedented for the government to take control of such a large boat with high-profile ownership, but he said that the move was understandable considering the circumstances.

“A seizure of a vessel this massive is complicated and unprecedented – but it is appropriate because the circumstances here are also unprecedented.  We found nearly 20 tons of cocaine hidden on this ship. When a vessel brings such an outrageous amount of deadly drugs into Philadelphia waters, my Office and our agency partners will pursue the most severe consequences possible against all involved parties in order to protect our district – and our country,”McSwain said.


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