Turkish Police Detain Bulker's Captain After Finding Cocaine on Hull

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Published Aug 23, 2020 10:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] On Saturday, Turkish police and coast guard officials seized 25 kilos of cocaine from a small box attached to the outside of the hull of the bulker Frontier Falcon. The vessel had recently arrived at a coal receiving terminal in Canakkale on a voyage from Cienaga, Colombia. 

The small external container was mounted low enough that it would have been submerged and concealed while the vessel was in laden condition. When her holds were emptied and her draft reduced, the box was readily visible from the dock, video from the scene shows. No divers were required to remove and inspect it: a small launch pulled up just beneath it so that officials could take it off the hull and examine the contents. (Divers were still deployed to examine the rest of the ship and see if there are any more boxes below the waterline, officials said.)

According to Hurriyet News, police detained seven members of the crew - including the captain and several officers - after they allegedly attempted to access the box. 

The 25-kilo haul is work about $7 million on the local market, according to Turkish officials. 

Frontier Falcon is a 2011-built Capesize bulker flagged in Panama. As of Sunday, she was still berthed at a power plant's coal receiving terminal outside Canakkale.