‘Movie-plot’ cocaine case highlights shipping industry drug problem

The case is one of many highlighting the vulnerability of the global shipping industry — in which Switzerland is a key player — to criminal activity by drug traffickers
Swissinfo (Switzerland)
Monday, June 28, 2021

msc gayane cocaine bustOn June 17, 2019, US law enforcement agents boarded a shipping vessel in Philadelphia and seized 19.75 tons of cocaine with a street value of over $1 billion. It was one of the largest drug seizures in US history and prompted the company to invest millions in security upgrades. The vessel in question – the MSC Gayane – was part of the fleet of the Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Corporation, which handles about 16 of the world’s seaborne trade, the second-most after Danish-based Maersk, according to a ranking of shipping operators. UN experts note the illicit drugs trade has been on the rise in the five-year period leading up to 2019 and that drug barons appear to be taking larger risks, sending more cocaine at one time. (See also: Jail sentence for first of MSC Gayane crew in cocaine smuggling case)