ST VINCENT – Boat held with over US$71m in cocaine

KINGSTOWN –– Authorities are trying to get to the bottom of how a Vincentian-owned and registered fishing boat was held in what has been described as the largest maritime seizure in 18 years.

In an operation on February 16, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) successfully stopped a transshipment of 185 bales of cocaine, weighing 4.2 tonnes, on board the Lady Michelle about 70 nautical miles off Paramaribo, Suriname in international waters.

The cocaine had a street value of over US$71.75 million.

The cocaine had a street value of over US$71.75 million.

According to Demerara Waves, DEA Special Agent Jeremy Latchman said the crew, which included four Guyanese, had initially claimed they had been searching for a missing vessel and that the Lady Michelle was registered in Guyana.

However, a check by the US law enforcers revealed that the boat was registered in St Vincent. They subsequently secured permission from Vincentian authorities to board the vessel in keeping with a bilateral agreement in the fight against drug trafficking.

“The vessel that was later identified as the Lady Michelle appeared to be dead in the water and was also in water too deep to conduct normal fishing operations. The vessel was also located in a known drug trafficking route,” the DEA agent related.

Authorities have since identified the crew members as Guyanese Mohamed Nazim Hoseain, 64; Richard La Cruz, 49; Neville Jeffrey, 68; and 30-year-old Mark Anthony Williams.

They were scheduled to attend a detention hearing in the United States Virgin Islands yesterday.

iWitness News reported today that the vessel has been returned to the owner in St Vincent, and the Financial Intelligence Union has opened investigations into the matter.

Meanwhile, Latchman told Demerara Waves that drug traffickers commonly utilize fishing vessels to transport large quantities of drugs that are transported from countries such as Colombia and Venezuela, and the drugs are then transported on fishing vessels through the Caribbean to other islands as well as the US and Europe.

Source: (Caribbean360)

18 Responses to ST VINCENT – Boat held with over US$71m in cocaine

  1. Daniel Polonis
    Daniel Polonis March 2, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    thats a shock…drugs in a boat from St. Vincent……….. said no one ever.

    Reply
    • Jack Randal
      Jack Randal March 2, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      $7 Mil? We’re in the wrong business…

      Reply
    • Daniel Polonis
      Daniel Polonis March 2, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Jack Randal thats just the one..that was off course

      Reply
    • Jack Randal
      Jack Randal March 2, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      Exactly… how many times are they doing that a month?

      Reply
    • Daniel Polonis
      Daniel Polonis March 2, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      on average I would count about 4 a week from Buccament

      Reply
    • Wendy Clarke
      Wendy Clarke March 2, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      Jack Randal it was US$71.75 M

      Reply
  2. Ashanda Coward
    Ashanda Coward March 2, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Wow.

    Reply
  3. Liz March 2, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Wowwww!

    Reply
  4. Ryvan Springer
    Ryvan Springer March 2, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Someone mad is hell

    Reply
  5. Shane Archer
    Shane Archer March 2, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Chhhhh

    Reply
  6. Joan Brome
    Joan Brome March 2, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Catch the dealers, bet nothing comes out of it, just.corruption in high places

    Reply
  7. Jema Goodluck
    Jema Goodluck March 2, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    St Vincent rich..

    Reply
  8. Oveston Cox March 2, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    That’s a concern with the number of Yatchs that are in and out of the west coast of Barbados we need to be more vigilant in our policing of all entry points. I suggest a task force that constantly changes with personal being assigned without prior notification.

    Reply
  9. Shurf March 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

    What have me puzzle, is the boat was returned to the owner.

    Reply
  10. Mackar March 3, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Why not sell off the boat to help offset the costs of law enforcement. Next week the same boat with a different crew will be out there doing the same drug smuggling. Who is fooling who???

    Reply
  11. jrsmith March 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Lots of people who are protected and in high places through out the region is all at it, at least lots of people may be wetting themselves, because the (US) have the technology even if you sneeze…………………..

    Reply
  12. Lwilliams March 6, 2017 at 2:10 am

    It’s unfortunate that it’s the good name of SVG that’s getting soiled in all this. No one is mentioning that the entire crew was Guyanese and where the vessel was discovered or that it was returned to the owner. Individuals from all over register their vessels in SVG because flying that flag gives them access to ports they would normally not have access to using vessels registered in their home country. It’s disappointing to see that that this is the headline our little known island is getting.

    Reply
  13. Trent March 15, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Lady Michelle is Obama’s yacht

    Reply

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