Authorities Find 16.5 Tons of Cocaine on Ship at Port of Philadelphia - gCaptain

Authorities Find 16.5 Tons of Cocaine on Ship at Port of Philadelphia

The U.S. Attorney’s office said the drug bust marks the largest drug seizure in the history of the district. The drugs have an estimated street value of approximately $1 billion the office said.

From the Philly Inquirer

Two charged in 16-ton, $1B Philly port cocaine bust, ‘one of largest seizures in U.S. history’

Coast Guard officials swabbed members of the crew for cocaine residue and found it on the hands and arms of the second mate, Ivan Durasevic, according to his arrest affidavit.

Durasevic told investigators that he had been recruited by the ship’s chief officer, who was unnamed in the document, to help at least two other crew members and four people wearing ski masks haul bales of cocaine aboard the Gayane from smaller ships that approached it shortly after it left Peru. He was paid $50,000 for his effort, he said.

Sound like the crew humped it by hand into the containers.

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Thanks for the info. Details have been lacking everywhere else.

I have wondered ever since learning about this, how the two crew were associated in the bust?? But if this version is true, I still wonder how this actually occurred while underway.

" … both men confessed to helping haul dozens of bales of cocaine aboard from at least 14 smaller boats that approached the vessel while plying waters to and from Peru…"

Still odd how nobody else on the ship was involved or did NOT know what was happening or did NOT see what was going on. Also, it’s not that easy humping anything in and out of a container on most ships…assuming you can even get to the door and open it fully.

I suspect more arrests might be made (?) of the crew.

But $50,000 to some poor Third World crew is like millions to an American. I can see how they’d be tempted. Amazed they could still get a positive swab off their arms so long after.

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So in light of precedent, will MSC Gayane be going up for auction on the federal courthouse steps? Eligible for Jones Act?

That’s funny … as long as they can nail a couple of peons and the MSC lawyers make the right threats in the right places to the right people in DC along with a few campaign contributions to the right politicians the ship will almost certainly sail away.

Well that’s downright boring.

Well, that didn’t take long.




If it was, yes it would be edible for Jones Act.

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That’s the funniest thing I’ve read on this forum in awhile. Edible in this case is the best Jones Act double entendre I have ever heard.

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As mariners we do things that work and we don’t do things that don’t work. Much of our craft comes from seafearing lore… which basically translates as experience tried and survived. But it is all the same basic approach, do what works. A captain who insists on doing something that doesn’t work will quickly finds themselves on Youtube… (Elbe No 5?)

By contrast, politicians insist on doing things that constantly fail.

Police and customs officials have been "enforcing " drugs laws for near on half a century. Yet there is still a serious criminal drugs trade all over the world.

Taking 16 tonnes of cocain out of the supply line will only reduce availability on the streets and push up prices. This will encourage more thieving, mugging and fraud activity to pay for individuals “habit”. It will encourage another major supply attempt. … (even possibly going on right now as the authorities celebrate their “massive” haul and are not looking for the real shipment). Meanwhile the criminal cartels who control production and street supply use violence and murder to maintain their position. I understand the Taliban control heroine supply from Afganistan and use it as their main soirce of finance. We see turf wars at street level with neighbourhood gangs mugging and knifing to control who supplies to the end user.

Is it not time to try a different approach? … and change the legal framework around drugs? Take out the criminal element. Let the likes of Pfizer and Monsanto control the source? Tax the whole system from start to end? At least, the management of Wallmart don’t send gangs into CVS shops to beat up the sales staff!

Before someone howls in protest, I am a mariner. I don’t do things that don’t work.

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I wonder how long it took to hand load 16.5 tons of coke? It had to take a while and involve more than those listed so far. They were at least knowledgeable about it. The vessel should be seized by the Marshal service and treated like Joe Blows car is when he gets busted.


Seize it and any other one they find with drugs. This seems that the SHIP was involved in smuggling. Not the norm where it hidden in the containers where the SHIP and crew have no control. It’s a smuggler no question about it.

Let’s have a more modern fleet for Jones Act and Marad. Plus take the cash from the sale to boost updating RRF fleet.

You don’t seriously believe that anyone in the counter-drug industry has the slightest interest in seeing that charade come to an end do you?

It’s the biggest money-maker our burgeoning police state has ever created.

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Did they check the captain’s vacuum cleaner?


Yeah, and someone should probably be on the lookout for the masterminds (Oiler, Wiper, Steward Utility, and OS) who are probably drinking Schlitz and playing cards in the crew mess.

Also, probably not MSC’s favorite decision in hindsight licensing one of their ship’s likeness’ for the movie with a “Q” instead of the “C”. Rough optics…

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Is this what they mean by “life imitating art”?

Probably long enough for the company to see that the ship was stopped.

Is there a single living person who thinks they could have loaded 16 tons of bales by hand at sea with no one else onboard noticing?

This has the potential for being one of the funniest drug smuggling stories ever. Either that or one of the most hypocritical episodes in US drug interdiction history.

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Moving that much quantity involves so many people that the chances of an informant either already embedded by the DEA, or one stepping up for a reward are high (no pun intended). Law enforcement didn’t stumble upon this by chance.
This quantity also indicates provenance from a direct cartel source. Many more will talk as investigators work their way up the chain so I expect more arrests.
Others suspected by the cartel bosses will meet a grisly end courtesy of their “sicarios” before law enforcement gets to them.
And the charade continues.

Years ago a shipment of wacky backy was organised from Tunisia to the UK on a small harbour dredger. The Clifton. Somehow the Customs got wind of it and were waiting all smiles as she docked in

Most likely “leak” was of course the people who sold the stuff to the wannabe smugglers.

It brings new meaning to the word around here that MSC stands for “More Sh*t coming”.

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