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16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In Philadelphia

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 19 Jun 2019 11:21
16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In Philadelphia16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In PhiladelphiaPA/CBS Philly

Federal police in the US have seized 16.5 tonnes of cocaine from a cargo ship docked in Philadelphia which was bound for Europe.

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The drugs, said to have a street value of more than $1 billion, were seized from containers aboard the MSC Gayane, which arrived at the Packer Marine Terminal on Monday following a port call in Colombia.

Shipping records reveal the MSC Gayane also made stops in Peru, Panama and the Bahamas before making its way to the US, as reported by ABC News.

16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In Philadelphia16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In PhiladelphiaPA Images

The ship’s crew were arrested and charged by federal officers, and an investigation into the drugs raid has now begun, according to the US Attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania.

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The incident is the latest in a number of cocaine busts taking place along the East Coast.

In February, customs at the Port of New York and New Jersey seized 3,200 pounds of cocaine, with a street value of $77 million, in the largest bust seen at the port since 1994.

16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In Philadelphia16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In PhiladelphiaPA Images

Then in March, drug dogs sniffed out 1,185 pounds of the substance, worth around $38 million, in Philadelphia, in the city’s largest seizure in more than two decades, until now.

Experts have claimed the recent surge in cocaine trafficking is largely down to the excess supply found in Colombia, where efforts to eradicate the production of the drugs have been more relaxed in recent years.

The cocaine batches are thought to contain a dangerous combination of cocaine and the powerful opioid fentanyl, creating an entirely new demand for the drugs.

16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In Philadelphia16.5 Tonnes Of Cocaine Seized From Cargo Ship In PhiladelphiaPA Images

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl was detected in a third of all cocaine-related overdose deaths in Philadelphia in 2017, a huge increase from the year prior.

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Fentanyl, which is said to be ‘deadlier than heroin’, affects the brain by changing how your body responds to pain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the drug is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times that of heroin.

Perhaps most worryingly is the fact most people don’t even know their drugs are laced with fentanyl, which could be the reason so many overdoses have been reported in recent years.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, cocaine, Columbia, philadelphia, UA

Credits

ABC News
  1. ABC News

    Feds seize over $1 billion of cocaine in historic bust in Philadelphia, officials say