The Independent reports that the Costa Concordia was carrying a "huge shipment of Mafia-owned cocaine" when it departed on its final voyage, according to investigators.
The dramatic story involves tape recordings of gang member communications which revealed that a Calabrian crime syndicate called Ndrangheta had hidden cocaine hidden aboard the Concordia, when it capsized in January 2012, as part of the organization’s vast cocaine-trafficking enterprise. Police investigators say that the drugs were likely stowed aboard the cruise ship by crew members.
Shortly after the January 2012 deadly accident involving the Concordia, an analysis of strands of Schettino’s hair tested positive for cocaine. Costa issued a statement:: "On board our ships there are strict safety and surveillance measures concerning drugs possession . . . It is not allowed in any way to bring on board, possess, trade or use narcotics, drugs or psychotropic drugs."
Just two days ago, Crew-Center reported that three people were arrested with over 16 kilos of cocaine while disembarking the Costa Pacifica in Malaga following a Transatlantic cruise from South America.
In addition to vessels operated by Costa Cruises, the police investigation says that the drug cartel also transported drugs on cruise ships "owned by MSC and Norwegian Cruise Lines, which travel between Europe, North America and the Caribbean."
Last week, I wrote about a major drug bust (15 kilos) aboard the Splendor of the Seas in Buenos Aires. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship was heading to Brazil and then Europe.
A couple of days later, 5 men were caught trying to smuggle 26 kilos aboard the MSC Magnifica in São Paulo.
We have written about many hundreds of kilos of cocaine seized during drug busts on cruise ship over the years.
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