The 2006-built container vessel MSC Lorena was found to carry more than 2,400 kilos of cocaine at the port of Antwerp in Belgium. The Antwerp prosecutor's office reported that the 4,870 TEU container ship was carrying the drugs in a cocoa box.
In late December and while MSC Lorena was sailing from Senegal to Antwerp, Belgian authorities received a bomb threat call for the boxship in case it docks in the port of Antwerp. Therefore, the vessel was sent back to the Wielingen-Noord anchorage area, near Breskens until the investigations come to an end.
Afterward, on 29 December, the ship was given permission to sail to the port of Antwerp and unload its cargo and the officials found a significant amount of cocaine.
This drug case comes almost a month after the publishing of an article on Bloomberg that mentioned that MSC became a prime drug-trafficking conduit for Balkan gangs.
The next day after the story publishing, MSC officially denied the allegations. "MSC strongly objects to Bloomberg’s headline claim that the subversion of a small number of seafarers from Montenegro, in what remain very specific circumstances, amounts to the 'company' being 'infiltrated' by a drugs cartel," said the Swiss/Italian ocean carrier in a statement.
"Unfortunately, there will always be individuals who can be corrupted by drugs traffickers – or, even more difficult to predict, decent people who will succumb to violent threats by dangerous criminals against them and their families. This is a human factor which is impossible for individual companies to control entirely," added MSC.