- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The ship seized last week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for having transported nearly 20 tons of cocaine into a U.S. port has a very high-profile owner — a JPMorgan Chase fund.

Multiple news outlets report that J.P. Morgan Asset Management owns the Liberia-flagged MSC Gayane.

Citing “a person familiar with the matter,” Business Insider reported that the ship is part of the asset management unit’s transportation strategy fund.

CNN later reported similarly.

On a day-to-day basis, the Gayane had been operated by the Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., and there have been no public statements by authorities against JPMorgan Chase.

The bank had no comment to CNN on Wednesday.

The drug seizure made June 17 — involving more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine with a street value of more than $1.3 billion — was one of the largest in U.S. history and prompted CBP to make the unusual move of seizing the ship, several of whose crew members were arrested when the ship was searched in Philadelphia.

“A seizure of a vessel this massive is complicated and unprecedented — but it is appropriate because the circumstances here are also unprecedented,” U.S. Attorney William McSwain said.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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