The trade in illegal drugs is a multi-billion dollar global business. Worldwide, the UN estimates there are more than 50 million regular users of heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs. Millions more are involved in their production, trafficking and sale. Sixty-five per cent of the heroin in the US comes from Colombia, much of it through South Florida.
October 1998 Report On Bermuda Cruise Ship Drug Traffic
Following the arrest of 13 Jamaican crewmen from four cruise ships in New York, US Drug Enforcement administration officials say they believe they have now uncovered an international drug ring centered on Bermuda. This has allegedly been using cruise ships to smuggle a variety of illicit drugs into Bermuda for onward transportation elsewhere. The drug seizure included heroin, hashish and cocaine.
Date: May, 1996
Amount: 11 pounds
Value $ 155,000 wholesale
Number Arrested: 0
Details: Customs officers found five kilograms of cocaine concealed in a nylon bag left at a dance hall aboard a ship. Nobody was arrested in the case and the drugs were turned over to the RCMP.
December 1994 - Operation Seacruise - Caribbean Cruise Ship Drug Traffic
A Border Patrol investigation, dubbed "Operation Seacruise," found that criminal gangs were using the cruise lines to smuggle their people into the U.S. to establish drug and weapons businesses. These gang "soldiers" were involved in murders, assaults, and drive-by shootings. When the soldiers were arrested, the gangs quickly sent in replacements via the cruise lines.
May 8, 1994 Huge Cruise Ship Marijuana Pipe Found
Repair crew divers found a 5-foot-long, 10-inch-wide sealed pipe stuffed with high-grade pot and bolted to the ship Enchanted Seas, authorities said. Robert Galloway, chief investigator for U.S. Customs in New Orleans, said it had two brackets. One end had broken free and the thing was kind of flopping around in the current created by the drag of the ship's motion.
May 1988 Drug Smugglers Arrested On Cruise Ship
Five passengers on the Cunard Countess cruise ship were arrested while in St. Thomas port and 165 pounds of cocaine were seized
April 22, 1987 Three Americans, two from North Carolina, were in custody after officials found nearly 60 pounds of suspected cocaine as two of them boarded a cruise ship. Officials said they were being questioned on possible links with a major drug seizure in Curacao. During a 28-hour stopover at the port of La Guaira, Venezuelan authorities kept the 726 tourists aboard the Carla Costa, including more than 600 Americans, from leaving, a witness said. Arrested were S. L. Wilson, 29, a janitor from Georgia, James B. Samuel, 36, a builder from North Carolina and Conzuela Burnett, 28, a computer operator from North Carolina.
1986 - President's Commission on Organized Crime Report
By the early 1980's a Congressional committee estimated that between 15 and 60 thousand tons of marijuana were exported from that country to the United States each year. An estimated 3 percent of the marijuana shipped from Colombia to the United States by sea is transported on commercial vessels. Typically, marijuana is concealed in containerized cargo, but in some instances crewmen or cruise ship passengers have been directly implicated in trafficking the drug.