$1 Billion in Cocaine Seized at Philadelphia Port


Over 16 tons of cocaine seized at Delaware River shipping terminal in Philly could be largest drug bust is U.S. history

Investigators in Philadelphia continue to search the cargo ship where they found more than 17 tons of cocaine Tuesday in what's being called one of the biggest drug busts in USA history.

Another huge drug raid went down in February, when customs agents seized 3,200 pounds of cocaine at the Port of NY and New Jersey totaling about $77 million - the largest bust at a port since 1994.

The U.S. Attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania Tweeted that "Members of the ship's crew have been arrested and federally charged, and an investigation is on-going". At that price, sold by the kilo, the drugs would be worth more than US$419 million. Court documents filed Tuesday named two crew members, Ivan Durasevic and Fonofaavae Tiasage, with "conspiracy to possess cocaine aboard a ship subject to US jurisdiction", according to The Associated Press.

Two members of a container ship's crew face federal drug charges after agents raided their vessel at a Philadelphia port and seized about 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) of cocaine. A spokesperson for U.S. Attorney William McSwain told the Inquirer the ship arrived in Philly after stopping in Chile, Panama and the Bahamas.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 16.5 tons of cocaine was confiscated from seven shipping containers, making it the largest drug seizure in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. However, no arrests were made during that bust. Drugs were placed in eight containers.

It was then taken to an undisclosed federal facility for analysis, the report said. "According to Tiasaga, each of these four crewmembers coordinated individual loads of cocaine".

In the Philadelphia case from earlier this year, cocaine was found in duffel bags in a shipping container aboard the MSC Desiree, which was headed from Colombian to Europe.

Tuesday's seizure did not set a US record.

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