In a brief statement by Maersk’s senior press officer, it has been confirmed that the “authorities at Manzanillo Terminal are conducting an investigation after allegedly two stevedores were found hidden alongside narcotics in one container”.
This action has come as a result of the incident on the Maersk Line container ship Svendborg Maersk where more than 1 million dollars worth of cocaine was seized along with two hidden individuals in the ships.
The inspection carried out by Mexican authorities, after receiving an anonymous tip-off was held in cooperation with the attorney general’s office and Manzanillo customs. They caught red-handed two stevedores locked in a container, and two suspicious packages wrapped in black and red plastic. Not appearing to be a part of the regular content of the cargo, the contents of the package were later tested positive for cocaine.
The TEU vessel set sail on the 21st of June from Buenaventura in Colombia with halts at Ecuador, Balboa, Panama, and Guayaquil. Post its arrival in Mexico, it was intended to continue the route to Yokohama, Japan, South Korea, and Shanghai in China.
The detained men, who weren’t a part of the crew seemed to be accompanying 102.5 kilos – 226 pounds, of cocaine bricks. The company has agreed to collaborate with the officials and stated that the company does not involve itself with “illicit cargo” and is committed to conducting business in a “responsible and lawful manner”.
Svendborg Maersk has previously come under the radar of authorities in Feb 2014, when it lost 520 containers overboard, off the coast of France, and again in Aug 2019 in a drug bust when 23,368 kilos of fentanyl was found at the Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico. Kjærgaard-Winther, on behalf of Maersk has offered to work proactively with relevant authorities to aid the investigations.