Business & Investment

How shipping giant MSC responded to a billion-dollar cocaine bust

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which recently overtook Maersk to become the world’s largest maritime carrier, said in 2019 that its ship, the MSC Kayane, had “significant financial and reputational damage” from a record-breaking drug bust. I confirmed.

The MSC detailed the scope of the results in a newly submitted court document. This includes additional security costs of over $ 100 million. “The company and everyone in it are victims,” ​​MSC wrote in a letter to Judge Harvey Bartle III of the US District Court.

A stranger than fiction

The MSC Gayane drug smuggling case is reminiscent of a quote from Mark Twain. “The truth is stranger than fiction.”

The ship at the center of the story was new, very large and very expensive. Built in 2018, it is owned by an MSC-leased entity in partnership with JP Morgan and can accommodate approximately $ 90 million worth of units worth 11,600 20 feet.

U.S. authorities Flocked to ship in Philadelphia on June 17, 2019, They found that seven shipping containers contained about 20 tonnes of cocaine, worth more than $ 1 billion. This is the same weight as three adult African elephants in cocaine.

Of the more than 20 crew members, at least eight (about one-third of the crew) were involved in the drag ring, according to prosecutors. Four crew members from Montenegro took over the work on a ship with the intention of smuggling cocaine and led the operation. They recruited at least four other crew members.

Speedboat met MSC Gayane many times on nights off South America. At a court hearing in September, the prosecutor said: “The crew used the ship’s crane to lift a cargo network full of cocaine onto the ship and hid it in the ship’s shipping container. After hiding the cocaine in a legitimate cargo, the crew I resealed the container with a fake seal. “

To date, three conspirators have pleaded guilty. Vladimir Pender who served as the fourth engineer On the ship; Engineer Nenad Ilic; Electrician Aleksandar Kavaja.. Everything faces life imprisonment.

All three judgments are imminent. MSC has submitted a letter in preparation for Pender’s hearing. Originally scheduled for Monday, it has been postponed to April 13.

Over $ 100 Million with New Security Measures

The MSC claimed to the judge that strong anti-smuggling procedures had been in place for many years before the MSC Gayane case. However, it has also been confirmed that it has undergone major changes since then.

“In the last two years since the seizure of Gayane, MSCs have spent tens of millions of dollars strengthening anti-smuggling procedures,” he said.

“Third-party security specialists have expanded the deployment of real-time remote surveillance guards and CCTV camera teams to MSC vessels.” Dog unit and diver team inspections “especially at risk like South America. It is done on a daily basis “in high areas”.

The liner company is also promoting “rapid development and deployment of smart containers that can detect and issue alerts if someone infringes or tampers with the container.”

“MSC’s post-security enhancements are projected to cost more than $ 100 million in total between 2019 and 2024,” he said.

“Unnecessary and unjustified stains”

After the June 2019 drug bust, MSCs have been suspended for 90 days from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “Reliable Traders” C-TPAT program.

The US government has also targeted MSC Gayane in confiscation measures. To free the ship, MSC invested $ 10 million in its CBP security account and provided CBP with a $ 40 million guarantee bond. Agreed to disclose everything we know about employee criminal activity related to smuggling cases. Facilitate interviews with MSC employees by US authorities.Supporting the provision of subpoenas to MSC employees in the United States and abroad

The MSC told the judge in a new filing: “Given all of MSC’s efforts to prevent drug smuggling, we can see how painful and upset all of MSC’s more than 27,000 employees and crew are. [Aponte] A family that continues to own an MSC — over 50 years of work to set up a company … is undermined by a criminal conspiracy. The Gayane case is an unwanted and unjustified stain in their records. ” Click to see more Freight Waves / American Shipper articles by Greg Miller

Details of drug smuggling by sea: Legal Officers Surround MSC Gayane Drug Gang: See the story here.. Break the containerized cocaine case: See the story here.. Narcotics at sea: more coke and more ships equals more problems: See the story here..

How shipping giant MSC responded to a billion-dollar cocaine bust How shipping giant MSC responded to a billion-dollar cocaine bust

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