Namely, federal, state and local law enforcement agents boarded the MSC Gayane on June 17. The container ship was docked in Philadelphia’s Packer Marine Terminal, with the authorities finding cocaine in seven shipping containers, a criminal complaint filed in Philadelphia federal court stated.
What is more, according to Reuters, federal authorities arrested and charged two of the ship's crew members. Both of them told investigators the way they helped load the ship with cocaine during its voyage.
Speaking on the drug seizure, Philadelphia-based US Attorney William McSwain, estimated the value of the cocaine seized to be at over $1 billion.
The ship has been in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Panama during the past month. Providing a statement on the incident, MSC said that it is aware of it and that it has a history of collaborating with US law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal narcotics trafficking.
The seizure has now taken its place among some of the largest in US history, such as a seizure of 21 tons of cocaine in California in 1989, as well as 14 tons of cocaine confiscated in Texas the same year.