Mediterranean Shipping Co. said with the exception of a small number of containers involved in the illegal drug shipment investigation in Philadelphia, the rest of the MSC Gayane’s containers were transferred to other MSC ships.
Mediterranean Shipping Co. said Tuesday that with the exception of a small number of containers, the bulk of the remaining containers on board the MSC Gayane, which was seized by Customs and Border Protection in the Port of Philadelphia on June 17, have been transferred to other MSC vessels.
“MSC is assisting and cooperating in any possible way with the authorities and is not the target of the investigation,” the container carrier said in a statement.
MSC Gayane was en route to northern Europe at the time CBP and Homeland Security Investigations officers discovered seven containers carrying up to 39,525 pounds of cocaine with a street value of $1.3 billion. The ship was scheduled to make calls at Rotterdam, Antwerp and Le Havre.
Despite the seizure of the MSC Gayane, MSC said the service is “functioning normally and all other MSC services are calling at U.S. ports as usual.”
MSC said its Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) certification was “temporarily suspended” by CBP following the drug interdiction on board the MSC Gayane. “We are actively seeking to assure the authorities that our certification can be reinstated as soon as possible,” the carrier said.
“Notwithstanding this temporary status, MSC continues to comply with all the requirements of the C-TPAT program and security criteria for ocean carriers including, but not limited to, the screening of customers, maintaining container and vessel security, and the vetting of employees, agents and business partners in accordance with C-TPAT requirements,” MSC explained.