Philadelphia-- The MSC Gayane flagged from Liberia, was found to contain 39,525 pounds of cocaine concealed in seven shipping containers. The cocaine had a value of 1.3 Billion dollars on the street. This ship has been seized by federal authorities under forfeiture laws.
Authorities said seizing such a massive cargo vessel --- the Gayane is more than 300 meters long ----is unprecedented, but deserved.
"The MSC Gayane is the largest vessel seized in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s 230-year history," Casey Durst, an official of the law-enforcement agency, said Monday.
“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,” said William M. McSwain the U.S. attorney for Philadelphia.
The MSC Gayane, which was built just a year ago, will remain under the custody of CBP "until further proceedings or order of the court," the statement said.
Durst said the seizure serves to remind "shipping lines and vessel masters" of their responsibility "to implement and enforce security measures to prevent smuggling attempts such as this."