Boxship Delayed Over Suspected Cocaine Smuggling at Port of Ensenada

MOL Majesty (file image courtesy Michael Simantov)

Published Feb 27, 2020 6:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Tuesday, the Mexican Navy recovered three kilos of cocaine that were allegedly thrown from the deck of the container ship MOL Majesty at the port of Ensenada, Mexico.

In a statement, the Mexican Navy's Second Naval Region said that naval personnel spotted a person on the container ship's deck throwing an object into the sea at the port of Ensenada. A "suspicious boat" was nearby. Two naval patrol boats were launched to search the area, and personnel recovered three packages of white powder wrapped in a jacket. The suspicious boat was also located, and three suspects were found on board. 

The individuals and the evidence were transferred to the Federal Public Ministry of the Attorney General's Office (FGR) for processing. 

The Mexican Navy told local media that investigators planned to board MOL Majesty. As of Thursday, the MOL Majesty remained at anchor off the coast of Ensenada, according to AIS data. 

Cocaine trafficking has become a significant problem for ocean carriers, as illustrated by the case of the MSC Gayane last year. Last July, MSC Gayane was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection "as being subject to possible forfeiture" after agents discovered 18 tonnes of cocaine on board. It was the third significant cocaine bust aboard an MSC ship in the United States that year. The vessel was released and allowed to return to service when MSC paid a multi-million-dollar security bond.