31+ kg/69+ pounds of cocaine discovered on a Royal Caribbean/Celebrity cruise ship

   June 14, 2021 ,   Accidents

Royal Caribbean cruise ship's security services have discovered 69.5 pounds of cocaine onboard the vessel last week. They've turned over the haul to US CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officers upon docking at Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida).

Cruise officials alerted Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to Port Everglades seaport that the ship inspection had found garbage bags with brick-shaped packages in a void space of the liner.

On June 6, 2021, CBP officers met the Royal Caribbean ship and security team during a maintenance call at Port Everglades.

The packages of white powder tested positive for cocaine, CBP announced.

The Advanced Tactical Cargo Enforcement Team of CBP performed a "thorough inspection" of the cruise ship and didn't find any other contraband, the agency revealed.

NOTE: CruiseMapper's Port Everglades map currently shows 3x Celebrity Cruises ships - 2x docked (Equinox and Summit) and 1x currently at anchorage (Silhouette).

  • Our satellite AIS data shows the ship Silhouette (on June 13th) docking and staying at the Port between 12:57 and 23:09 (UTC), so this could be the vessel where the drugs were found.
  • The other possibility is the Equinox ship, which docked on June 12 (at 00:51 UTC) and left on June 15 (at 00:16 UTC). You can see the vessel's path/movements here (CruiseMapper's tracker).
  • Allegedly, the ship's Captain informed the authorities about the packages.

Celebrity is a brand and fully-owned subsidiary of RCG-Royal Caribbean Group.

Dylan DeFrancisci, port director of field operations for Port Everglades, praised the operation that discovered the cocaine.

"This seizure is indicative of the excellent collaboration CBP has with our industry partners to detect and interdict illegal drugs being smuggled into our nation," DeFrancisci said in a statement. "Our officers strive daily developing and enhancing our partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, industry partners and the citizens of our community to stop criminal activity at our borders, be it land, air or sea."

Vernon T. Foret, Director of Field Operations, confirmed that 28 bricks of the contraband had been discovered on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. 

“Officers in Port Everglades FL were notified by a First Officer of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that 28 bricks of cocaine, weighing more than 31 kgs was discovered while doing routine inspections. The drugs, were seized by CBPO’s.”