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US Customs seizes ship where huge cocaine load was found

July 8, 2019
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FILE--This file photo from June 18, 2019 shows the MSC Gayane container ship on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Customs authorities announced on Monday, July 8, 2019 they have seized the cargo ship where agents discovered nearly 40,000 pounds, or almost 18,000 kilograms, of cocaine when the vessel was inspected in Philadelphia last month. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — U.S. Customs authorities have seized a cargo ship where agents discovered nearly 40,000 pounds, or almost 18,000 kilograms, of cocaine when the vessel arrived in Philadelphia last month.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain says Customs and Border Protection officials obtained a warrant Thursday and seized the MSC Gayane.

The cargo ship is owned by Swiss firm MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co.

McSwain says the ship is subject to possible forfeiture to the U.S. The value of the ship and its other contents hasn’t been released.

MSC is one of the world’s largest shipping lines in terms of containers. An email seeking comment on the ship’s seizure wasn’t returned Monday.

At least six crew members have been charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine aboard a ship. The federal investigation continues.

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