Cruise ship cocaine bust in Montego Bay

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (CMC) — Officials of the Customs Department said police seized a large quantity of cocaine from a cruise ship from Colombia, docked at the Freeport Cruise Shipping Pier in this tourist resort town.

The department said 50 pounds of cocaine valued at $100 million (US$ 1.1 million) was seized during a five-hour operation yesterday. A quantity of the cocaine (22 pounds) was found strapped to a man who has been identified as Ricardo Chin, a passenger on the cruise ship, while another 28 pounds was found in a suitcase in a cabin occupied by another passenger.

Chin has been taken into custody and will answer to charges of breaching the Dangerous Drugs Act, the Proceeds of Crime Act as well as the Customs Act.

Following the drug find, scores of passengers who had just returned from excursions were forced to wait in long lines and were searched prior to re-boarding while local shipping agents, who had transactions on the ship, were not allowed access.

Only last week a cruise passenger was held at a newly opened port in Falmouth in the northern parish of Trelawny after attempting to board a vessel with cocaine.

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