The cruise operations are keeping on toes to recommence in the United States, warmly welcomed by cruise lines and the cruise-centric ports. However, smugglers are exploiting legitimate cruise ship activities to pawn consignments, no matter how little, as narcotics trafficking into the US. It is possible that these cargoes, which go via container ships or semi-submersibles, are not on a huge scale, but they are significant enough to warrant scrutiny.
On June 6, security agents aboard an unnamed cruise line pioneered the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to impound the 32 kilos of cocaine findings. The crew handed in the drugs when the vessel called at the Port Everglades, Florida.
Before the vessel’s arrival, cruise officials alerted CBP investigators stationed in Port Everglades. On June 6, CBP officers met the cruise liner when it arrived at Port Everglades for routine maintenance, and its security personnel boarded the pier. After the ship was moored, the security team displayed the empty spot, later filled with garbage bags uncovered off the Florida coast. The bags were stuffed with brick-shaped packages of white power, positively recognized as cocaine.
At a typical market price of $30,000 per kilogram, the shipment would be worth almost $1 million.
While the cruise ship was in the dock, a CBP search team performed a thorough examination, but no other drugs were located.
This latest discovery corresponds with the launch of a broad Covid-19 immunization campaign, which has now permitted cruise ships to explore the waters.
The “No Sail Order” issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in March was amended last month. In the revised version, cruise ships on simulated trips with voluntary passengers are allowed in the US waters.
Anticipating to fulfill CDC criteria(s) by mid-summer, many cruise companies are preparing to restart cruising in US water. For example, Europe-based MSC Cruise and Costa Cruise Lines have already resumed their operations in other parts of the world.