AN estimated US$35 million in cocaine was seized from a Liberian-flagged cargo vessel which was docked in Trinidad two months ago. Vietnamese police described it as the largest drug seizure in the history of a Vietnamese province.
The Vietnamese media reported that the vessel, the Maersk Shenzhen, arrived at the Tan Cang Meop-Thi Vai Port in the southeast province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, where it “aroused suspicion” among customs officials.
When they searched the ship they found the drugs packaged and hidden among a shipment of scrap metal purchased from a Singapore scrap metal company. Reports indicated the documents provided by the shipment’s owner did not match those of the seal on the container.
Newsday understands the cargo was bought by the Vietnamese steel company Pomina Steel Joint Stock Company, which has since distanced itself from the find through its chairman who has denied the company knew the drugs were aboard.
The ship docked in Trinidad two months ago before leaving for Panama, China and eventually Vietnam.