Acting on a tip, Mexican authorities reportedly discovered an undisclosed amount of cocaine aboard the MSC Divina while the cruise ship was in port in Cozumel, Mexico.
According to the Riviera Maya News, Mexican federal agents located six packets of cocaine inside of a compartment behind a toilet in an undisclosed location on the MSC cruise ship. The MSC Divina had previously sailed from Kralendijk, Bonaire on January 23rd, Willemstad, Curacao on January 24th, Oranjestad, Aruba on January 25th, Ocho Rios, Jamaica on January 27th, and George Town, Grand Cayman on January 28th before arriving in Cozumel yesterday. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Miami tomorrow.
There were no reported arrests of any of the crew members or passengers.
This is not the first time that drugs have been seized on a MSC cruise ship.
In November of 2018, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers arrested seven MSC crew members for smuggling cocaine into the port of Miami aboard the MSC Seaside. CBP officers reportedly found six kilos of cocaine and over $100,000 in cash. The Miami Herald covered the drug bust and identified the MSC crew members who allegedly smuggled the drugs. MSC crew member Jamaican Damion Hawthorne (age 32)(from Ocho Rios) recruited South African crew members Londiwe Shange (age 27), Wandile Mhlongo (age 29), Thembeka Sokhulu (age 36), and Viwe Tshaka (age 23). Jamaican Errol Roy Sutherland was also allegedly involved in the drug smuggling operation.
In 2010, eight people were convicted of attempting to smuggle over 75 pounds of cocaine (worth many millions of dollars) ashore from the MSC Orchestra when it arrived in Dover from Brazil.
In January of 2011, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office with K-9 dogs raided the MSC Poesia at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale before it sailed and arrested a number of music fans on its Jam Cruise for a relatively small quantity of recreational drugs.
In August of 2013, the Spanish police arrested two crew members from the cruise ship MSC Magnífica, which docked in Spain on drug trafficking charges after they were caught with 15 kilos of cocaine on the cruise ship.
In November of 2013, a MSC crew member was implicated in a scheme to import ten kilos of cocaine from South America to Italy on the cruise ship MSC Armonia.
In March of 2014, the police in Brazil arrested a crew member on the cruise ship MSC Preziosa for smuggling cocaine.
I first read about this drug bust in Crew Center’s article Six Packages Of Cocaine Discovered On The Cruise Ship MSC Divina.
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Photo credit: la Fiscalía General de la República via Riviera Maya News.