1 billion dollar worth batch of cocaine seized in Philadelphia

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Federal officials seized 16.5 tons of cocaine from a ship at a Philadelphia port late Monday night, according to law enforcement officials.

Federal officials made a cocaine bust in Philadelphia, June 18, 2109.

Members of the cargo ship's crew were arrested and federally charged. The ship, named MSC Gayane, was believed to have shipped the drug from the Bahamas.

The alleged drug smuggling operation included nets, a crane and cryptocurrency, U.S. officials said.

It is reportedly the largest drug's seizure in the region's history.

In a statement, MSC said it takes the matter "seriously".

The cocaine was seized from the ship MSC Gayane, which was traveling from Chile, Panama and the Bahamas before docking in Philadelphia's Delaware River. Nobody can be trusted in drugs either trafficking or law enforcement, not traffickers, nor officers.

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The company reiterated that it's "committed to working with authorities and industry groups worldwide to improve the security of the global supply chain and ensure that illegal practices are dealt with promptly and thoroughly by the relevant authorities".

The risky combination of cocaine with the powerful opioid fentanyl into a modern-day speedball is also creating soaring new demand.

Fentanyl is "50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine", and is responsible for thousands of overdose deaths each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The cargo ship owner Mediterranean Shipping Company said in a statement that it was aware of the incident and that it has a history of working with United States law enforcement agencies to help disrupt illegal narcotics trafficking.

Another crew member, identified as Fonofaavae Tiasaga, also allegedly admitted to partaking in loading cocaine on the ship, including on a previous voyage, the complaint said.

The 1,185 pounds of cocaine seized in Philadelphia were valued at $38 million, a CBP spokesperson told NBC 10 Philadelphia.