US authorities have reportedly released the container ship ‘MSC Gayane’, almost a month after the ship was seized with 20 tons of cocaine in Philadelphia, marking one of the largest drug seizures in the US history. The ship was released after the operator posted $50 million, including $10 million in cash.
Mediterranean Shipping Company
MSC provided an update after the recent law enforcement drug trafficking operation on MSC Gayane in Philadelphia. Due to this operation, MSC Gayane has been under US government control since 17 June, while the authorities conduct investigations. MSC said that it is assisting and cooperating in any possible way with the authorities and it is not the target of the investigation.
US Attorney William M. McSwain announced that US Customs and Border Protection executed a seizure warrant obtained by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and seized the cargo vessel MSC Gayane as being subject to possible forfeiture to the US.
The US Customs and Border Protection informed that it has temporarily suspended Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) Customs Trade Partnership (C-TPAT) certification, after US federal authorities seized 16.5 tons of cocaine, with a worth of more than $1 billion from one of its container ships in Philadelphia.
US federal authorities seized 16.5 tons of cocaine, with a worth of more than $1 billion from a ship in Philadelphia. This is considered as one of the largest drug seizures in the US history, according to the US Justice Department. What is more, federal authorities arrested and charged two of the ship’s crew members.
Six crew members of the MSC Mandy who were kidnapped earlier this month off Benin, are now free Russian media reported. The ship was attacked on January 2, and since then negotiations to release the seafarers have been ongoing. The ship arrived from Nigeria to the port of Cotonou, and new crew members went on board the ship, including the captain, to replace the crew members who had been taken hostage.
According to the Russian Embassy in Benin, the location of Russians captured by pirates, on January 2, in Benin’s territorial waters in the Gulf of Guinea is unknown. As stated by the Embassy, representatives for the company noted that the kidnappers have not contacted yet.
Pirates attacked the container ship MSC Mandy, on January 2, off Benin, West Africa, kidnapping six crewmembers. The vessel was sailing through the Gulf of Guinea when the attack took place. At the time of the attack, the ship had sailed from Togo and is currently anchored off Lagos.
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