Feds seize nearly 70 pounds of cocaine smuggled aboard cruise ship

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 69.5 pounds of cocaine concealed aboard a cruise ship as the vessel docked in Florida’s Port Everglades one week ago.

According to a news release, cruise officials notified the agency that their security personnel discovered the contraband in garbage bags in a “void space” aboard the ship while still off the coast of Florida.

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In turn, CBP officers met the cruise ship and its security team during the vessel’s scheduled June 6 maintenance stop at Port Everglades seaport and tested the white powder, which was found inside brick-shaped packages, the agency stated.

The white powder field-tested positive for cocaine and was confiscated by CBP officers.

The June 6 seizure came as cruise ships began testing the waters to resume wide-scale sailings, after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halt all sailings in U.S. waters in March 2020, CNN reported.

The CDC only recently issued updated guidelines, allowing cruise ship operators to begin simulated voyages with volunteer passengers, the network reported.