Posted on July 17, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Liberian-flagged Containership, MSC Gayane has been released from US Custody after its owner, Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, agreed to pay a bail of $50 million.
MSC has posted a $10m security deposit and a $40m surety bond while also agreeing to honour the outcome of the US Department of Justice’s investigation.
The agreement between MSC and the US Department of Justice, stipulates that should a judge consider that a final forfeiture should be imposed on the MSC Gayane, the vessel would have 90 days to enter an American port.
The possibility of a forfeiture is still very much on the table, should the investigators find a link between senior crew members and the confiscated drugs.
The MSC Gayane has been in the port of Philadelphia for almost a month, following a drug raid on the vessel, that uncovered almost 20 tons of Cocaine onboard 7 different containers.
The street value of the cocaine discovered on board the vessel is estimated at $1.3 billion, making it the biggest cocaine seizure that the US Customs and Border Protection ever carried out in its 230-year history.
So far, eight crewmembers have been implicated with the drug smuggling operation and have been placed in US custody.
This is the third MSC vessel to be involved in a drug-smuggling operation this year.
Following the ship’s release, the MSC Gayane set sail for the Port of Rotterdam.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic