MSC Gayane released on $50m bond

United States authorities have released the MSC Gayane following a bond payment of $50 million, US attorney William McSwain has revealed.

The vessel was seized at the port of Philadelphia when 20 tons of cocaine with a street value of $1 billion was found on board.

According to McSwain $10 million in cash and a $40-million surety bond were paid by the vessel operator Mediterranean Shipping Company and owner JP Morgan.

“The bond was paid in exchange for the vessel’s temporary release pending a final resolution,” McSwain noted.

The Gayane departed from the port of Philadelphia on 13 July to resume service.

All the cargo that was on board had already been shipped to the respective destinations.

Eight crew members were detained while the remaining 16 crew, including the captain, were deported.

It is reported that at least two crew members have been charged with helping load the bales of cocaine onto the vessel while at sea – a total of 14 boats are said to have approached the vessel on two separate occasions.

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