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U.S. authorities seize 16.5 tons of cocaine in massive bust

Christian Fernsby |
The U.S. Attorney's Office of Eastern District of Pennsylvania said it had seized about 16.5 tons of cocaine, with a street value of over one billion U.S. dollars, the largest drug seizure in the district.

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The cocaine were found in seven shipping containers on a large ship on the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, the attorney's office said on social media, adding that members of the ship's crew have been arrested and federally charged.

According to local media, the cocaine were seized late Monday. The ship, named MSC Gayane, was believed to have shipped the drug from the Bahamas.

Local media cited law enforcement sources as saying that the ship made stops in Chile, Panama and the Bahamas prior to arriving at Philly.

William M. McSwain, attorney for the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, tweeted: "This is one of the largest drug seizures in United States history. This amount of cocaine could kill millions - Millions - of people."

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