Federal officials say they have seized 16.5 tons of cocaine with a street value of more than $1billion from a cargo ship docked in Philadelphia and bound for Europe.
US federal agents seized 15.5 tons of cocaine on board of container ship MSC GAYANE at Philadelphia USA, on Jun 17, shortly after her arrival.
In February, customs agents seized 1,451 kilograms at the Port of NY and New Jersey with a street value estimated at $77 million US.
According to local media, the cocaine were seized late Monday. US authorities have seized more than $1 billion worth of cocaine from a ship, reportedly the Gayane, at a Philadelphia port.
The drugs were concealed in seven shipping containers aboard the boat, which started its journey on May 31 and stopped in a number of places before landing in Philadelphia. According to reports at least to crew members had been charged with trafficking.
It's the largest seizure in the district's history, the office said.
The office said it marks the largest drug seizure in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Another crew member, identified as Fonofaavae Tiasaga, also allegedly admitted to partaking in loading cocaine on the ship, including on a previous voyage, the complaint said.
Federal officials from the EPDA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Coast Guard were involved in the bust, along with Philadelphia Police, according to the EPDA. However, no arrests were made during that bust.
Until now, traffickers didn't bother themselves with crews cooperation, they've been shipping cocaine in containers without crews, or ship's management, or ship's agents, involvement.
Television footage of the seized ship in Philadelphia showed its name as MSC Gayane.