Federal authorities seized an estimated $1 billion worth of cocaine at the Port of Philadelphia on Tuesday, in what is being called one of the largest drug busts in American history. The seizure of more than 16 tons of cocaine from a ship docked at the Packer Marine Terminal was announced via Twitter on Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Federal agents and canine units raided the ship, the MSC Gayane, on Tuesday afternoon and could be seen entering shipping containers on the vessel. Law enforcement officers discovered and seized approximately 33,000 pounds of cocaine on the ship. Members of the ship’s crew have been arrested and federally charged, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The ship is owned by the Swiss firm MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. The MSC Gayane sails under the Liberian flag and arrived at the Port of Philadelphia early Monday morning. The ship had previously visited ports in the Bahamas on June 31, Panama on June 9, Peru on May 24, and Colombia on May 19, according to information from online ship tracking services.
MSC Mediterranean Shipping said in a statement that the company was “aware of reports of an