Advertisements
The MSC Gayane was on display last month at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, after 20 tonnes of cocaine were discovered on board. JPMorgan owns the ship through a financing agreement

New details have appeared about how banking giant JPMorgan Chase got a shipping ship that was seized after 20 tons of cocaine worth about $ 1.3 billion was discovered on board.

Advertisements

Thursday, a knowledgeable source confirmed DailyMail.com that the MSC Gayane – intercepted last week in Philadelphia by US Customs and Border Protection – is owned by institutional customer goods in a transportation strategy offered by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

However, the sole responsibility for the operation of the ship lay with the Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which handles the investigation with the competent authorities, the source said.

JPMorgan has remained remarkably cool on the issue, and declined to comment when reached by DailyMail.com – and experts say it is because the bank is unlikely to have criminal liability in this matter.

The MSC Gayane was on display last month at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, after 20 tonnes of cocaine were discovered on board. JPMorgan owns the ship through a financing agreement

The MSC Gayane was on display last month at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, after 20 tonnes of cocaine were discovered on board. JPMorgan owns the ship through a financing agreement

Stacks of cocaine bricks displayed as a press conference are being held at the US Custom House in Philadelphia to discuss details of the historic cocaine breast of Port of Philly on the MSC Gayane

Stacks of cocaine bricks displayed as a press conference are being held at the US Custom House in Philadelphia to discuss details of the historic cocaine breast of Port of Philly on the MSC Gayane

Advertisements

Stacks of cocaine bricks displayed as a press conference are being held at the US Custom House in Philadelphia to discuss details of the historic cocaine breast of Port of Philly on the MSC Gayane

& # 39; It is not the ship of JPMorgan & # 39 ;, wrote financial expert Matt Levine in a column for Bloomberg. & # 39; The property of JPMorgan is a financing issue. & # 39;

& # 39; You should not think of this as much as & # 39; JPMorgan decided to buy a boat and then rented it out to MSC & # 39; and more while & # 39; MSC decided to get the money to finance its boat from JPMorgan, and it made sense to structure that financing transaction as a lease rather than a loan, "& # 39; Levine continued.

Because the ship is owned by JPMorgan's asset management arm, the technical owners of the ship would be the bank's institutional customers, such as pension funds.

How the huge amount of cocaine came on board the MSC Gayane is not entirely clear, although the ship visited Port-Florida on May 19.

Before arriving in Philadelphia on June 17, when cocaine was discovered almost immediately, the Liberian ship also made stops in Peru, Panama, and the Bahamas.

The ship was connected to Europe after Philadelphia and it is unclear whether the drugs were intended for the United States or Europe.

Advertisements

The drugs were hidden in seven sea containers on board the ship and when agents opened the containers, they saw the drugs in bags, an official said.

At least six crew members from Serbia and Samoa have been accused of conspiring to have cocaine on board a ship. The federal investigation continues.

JP Morgan & # 39; s London branch can be seen above. The bank financed the purchase of the ship, but structured the deal as a lease contract, probably for a tax or accounting benefit

JP Morgan & # 39; s London branch can be seen above. The bank financed the purchase of the ship, but structured the deal as a lease contract, probably for a tax or accounting benefit

JP Morgan & # 39; s London branch can be seen above. The bank financed the purchase of the ship, but structured the deal as a lease contract, probably for a tax or accounting benefit

The ship (above) made a port call in Colombia on 19 May. At least six crew members from Serbia and Samoa have been accused of having cocaine aboard a ship

The ship (above) made a port call in Colombia on 19 May. At least six crew members from Serbia and Samoa have been accused of having cocaine aboard a ship

Advertisements

The ship (above) made a port call in Colombia on 19 May. At least six crew members from Serbia and Samoa have been accused of having cocaine aboard a ship

MSC is one of & # 39; the world's largest shipping lines shipping companies and has not been accused of abuses. An MSC spokesperson said the company would not have a direct comment.

But if the nasty MSC crew members are behind the drug smuggling schedule, Levine believes that JPMorgan has a good chance of recovering at least part of the value of the $ 90 million seized ship from the shipping company.

& # 39; If JPMorgan only provides financing for the ship, if it is not the control and operation thereof and takes the profits from those operations, then it probably has some contractual provisions that require MSC to do nothing about reckless JPMorgans $ Lose 90 million ship & # 39 ;, he writes. .

& # 39; Loading drugs and putting them into the hands of US customs seems like a particularly reckless way to lose a ship, and if I were JP Morgan, I'd be angry. I want my $ 90 million back, & Levine continues.

Advertisements

Thursday, almost a month after discovering cocaine, CBP officials received orders and seized the MSC Gayane.

Some of the 35,000 pounds of cocaine that US customs and border surveillance and home security investigations seized in seven sea containers at the MSC Gayane

Some of the 35,000 pounds of cocaine that US customs and border surveillance and home security investigations seized in seven sea containers at the MSC Gayane

Some of the 35,000 pounds of cocaine that US customs and border surveillance and home security investigations seized in seven sea containers at the MSC Gayane

The drugs were hidden in seven sea containers on board the ship and when agents opened the containers, they saw the drugs in bags, an official said

The drugs were hidden in seven sea containers on board the ship and when agents opened the containers, they saw the drugs in bags, an official said

The drugs were hidden in seven sea containers on board the ship and when agents opened the containers, they saw the drugs in bags, an official said

Advertisements

& # 39; A seizure of a ship that is so massive is complicated and unprecedented, but it is appropriate because the circumstances here are also unprecedented. We found nearly 20 tons of cocaine hidden on this ship, & # 39; said US lawyer William McSwain.

COCAINE BUSTS ALONG THE EAST COAST

Gayane is at least the third ship in the Mediterranean Shipping Company fleet to be raided by the US authorities this year.

In February, customs brokers retrieved the largest load of cocaine intercepted in the port of Newark, New Jersey, in almost 25 years – around 3,200 pounds or 1,451 pounds – from a container on board the MSC Carlotta.

In March, law enforcement agencies sought a container from the MSC Desiree in the Port of Philadelphia and found 13 large duffel bags filled with 1,185 pounds, or 538 pounds of cocaine. At the time, it was the largest cocaine capture in the port in more than 20 years.

Experts say that the boom in the cocaine trade is fueled by oversupply in Colombia, where the efforts for eradication have been lax in recent years.

The dangerous combination of cocaine with the powerful opioid fentanyl in a modern speedball also creates a huge new demand.

In Philadelphia, fentanyl was detected in one third of all cocaine-related deaths from overdoses in 2017, a dramatic increase from the previous year, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

& # 39; When a ship brings such an incredible amount of deadly drugs into the waters of Philadelphia, my office and our office partners will pursue the strictest possible impact against all parties involved to protect our district – and our country. & # 39;

Officials originally estimated the weight of the drugs at more than 35,000 pounds, with an estimated value of $ 1.1 billion, but later adjusted that estimate upwards after completing the search.

Gayane is at least the third ship in the Mediterranean Shipping Company fleet to be raided by the US authorities this year.

Advertisements

In February, customs brokers retrieved the largest load of cocaine intercepted in the port of Newark, New Jersey, in almost 25 years – around 3,200 pounds or 1,451 pounds – from a container on board the MSC Carlotta.

In March, law enforcement agencies sought a container from the MSC Desiree in the Port of Philadelphia and found 13 large duffel bags filled with 1,185 pounds, or 538 pounds of cocaine. At the time, it was the largest cocaine capture in the port in more than 20 years.

Last month, MSC said in a statement that & # 39; transport companies and logistics companies are unfortunately affected by human trafficking problems from time to time. … MSC has a long history of working with US federal law enforcement agencies to help disrupt illegal drug trafficking. & # 39;

The company said Tuesday that it is not a target of the investigation.

Experts say that the boom in the cocaine trade is fueled by oversupply in Colombia, where the efforts for eradication have been lax in recent years.

Advertisements

The rising new demand has also been spurred in the US by the dangerous combination of cocaine with the powerful opioid fentanyl in a modern speedball.

In Philadelphia, fentanyl was detected in one third of all cocaine-related deaths from overdoses in 2017, a dramatic increase from the previous year, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

James Carroll, director of the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the Trump government is committed to hunting drug traffickers and bringing them to justice.

"Make no mistake, we will use every means available to us to find these traffickers and once we have them in custody we will adopt the fullest law that is possible," he said. & # 39; We must never forget to help our fellow citizens who struggle with addiction and need help. & # 39;

. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) news