US Customs seizes ship where huge cocaine load was found

Pennsylvania

The MSC Gayane is moored at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. U.S. authorities say they have seized more than $1 billion worth of cocaine from the container ship at Philadelphia’s port, calling it one of the largest drug busts in American history. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – U.S. Customs authorities have seized a cargo ship where agents discovered nearly 40,000 pounds, or almost 18,000 kilograms, of cocaine when the vessel arrived in Philadelphia last month.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain says Customs and Border Protection officials obtained a warrant Thursday and seized the MSC Gayane.

The cargo ship is owned by Swiss firm MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co.

McSwain says the ship is subject to possible forfeiture to the U.S. The value of the ship and its other contents hasn’t been released.

MSC is one of the world’s largest shipping lines in terms of containers. A spokesman for MSC says the company has no immediate comment.

At least six crew members have been charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine aboard a ship. The federal investigation continues.

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