We would bring members attention to two recent cases, in the last month, where drugs have been found on vessels that have loaded out of Santa Marta, Colombia.
In one case 31 packages (34kgs) of cocaine were found by customs on a reefer ship in Antwerp under the permanent gratings in one of the cargo hatches. In the other, a bulk carrier, 200 packages (250kgs) of pure cocaine were found in the seachest several metres below sea level and only accessible from outside the vessel.
In the latter case the vessel had been inspected prior to departure from Santa Marta by a governmental anti narcotics squad which included scuba divers.
We would recommend owners advise their crews to be extremely vigilant when loading at this port.
Source of information: M Bowen (L4)