Video: Italian Police Find $27M of Cocaine in Vessel's Sea Chest

drug search
Divers searched the hull of the vessel finding the pakcages 30 feet below the waterline (Guardia di Finanza)

Published Apr 24, 2024 6:11 PM by The Maritime Executive


The Italian police are highlighting their ongoing efforts to crack down on the smuggling of illegal narcotics into the country. The State Police are reporting 24 raids in the Policoro region in southern Italy, while in the north at Ravenna on the Adriatic, they are reporting a significant seizure of cocaine found hidden below the waterline on an arriving bulker.

The joint investigation was carried out by the State Police and the Financial Police, in coordination with multiple units of law enforcement and targeted anti-drug units.

The bulker which was only identified as a vessel flying the flag of the Marshall Islands arrived overnight on April 22 to 23 from northern Europe. A review of its documentation showed it was traveling from Brazil where it had departed in February. 



The vessel was subjected to a thorough inspection with the collaboration of divers from the Rimini Naval Air Operations Department of the Guardia di Finanza. During the check, several unidentified packages were found hidden inside the sea intake pipes, located approximately nine meters (nearly 30 feet) below the waterline. 

The divers brought the packages to the surface for inspection by the anti-drug units. Inside investigators found 139 blocks containing pure cocaine, for a total of approximately 150 kilograms. It was estimated that the recovered drugs would have brought in over 25 million euros ($27 million) on the retail market.

The video shows the vessel being moved to the dock in Ravenna for further inspection.