Weeks After $1 Billion Cocaine Bust, US Customs Seizes JP Morgan Owned Container Ship
The MSC Gayane was being operated by Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co and is now 'subject to possible forfeiture'.
The vessel was raided on June 17 and the US Customs and Border Protection found 20 tons of cocaine stashed in several containers. (Image : AP)
In a record drug bust, the US customs authorities seized a large container ship, owned by JP Morgan Asset Management, three weeks after the authorities found more than $1 billion worth of cocaine on the vessel.
The MSC Gayane was being operated by Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co and is now “subject to possible forfeiture”, a Wall Street Journal report quoted US Attorney William McSwain as saying in a statement.
The vessel was raided on June 17 and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found 20 tons of cocaine stashed in several containers. According to the WSJ report, the ship had sailed from Chile after which it made several stops in Peru, Panama and Freeport in the Bahamas.
The report also confirmed the arrest of eight crew members with several others being charged in the case.
This is the second time that an MSC ship has been caught in a drug bust. In March, a similar size vessel to Gayane was raided and nearly 1,200 pounds of cocaine was discovered on board.
Customs agency has now temporarily suspended MSC’s Customs-Trade Partnership certification. The liner is thus more susceptible to “scrutiny”.
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