- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 19, 2019

U.S. officials seized 33,000 pounds of cocaine this week from a cargo ship in Philadelphia in a $1 billion drug bust, one of the largest in U.S. history.

“A U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations-led multi-agency inspection of shipping containers aboard the MSC Gayane resulted in a substantial cocaine seizure in Philadelphia on June 17, 2019,” the agency said in a statement. “Authorities continue to process the seized cocaine and continue its inspection aboard the vessel in the Port of Philadelphia. Authorities have made two arrests, and will release a final tally and additional details when this operation concludes.”

A local CBS affiliate reported on the arrests of Ivan Durasevic, the ship’s second mate, and Fonofaavae Tiasaga.

“This is one of the largest drug seizures in United States history,” added US Attorney Michael William McSwain via Twitter. “This amount of cocaine could kill millions – MILLIONS – of people.”

The ship, which was on its way to the Netherlands, previous docked in the Bahamas, Panama, Peru, and Colombia, the network reported.

Authorities took the drugs to an undisclosed federal facility for analysis.

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