Big Cruise Ship Cocaine Bust in Jamaica

Posted Feb 25th 2011 10:00 AM


cruise cocaine bust jamaica


Royal Caribbean says two crew members were busted in Jamaica, in a drug smuggling plot that involved 33 kilos (about 73 pounds) of cocaine.

Cruise line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez tells AOL Travel News authorities boarded the 1,950-passenger Grandeur of the Seas while the ship was docked in Montego Bay, Jamaica on Wednesday and "detained a crew member and found that he was in possession of 18 kilos of cocaine."

A short time later, authorities came back onboard the cruise ship and found an additional 15 kilos of cocaine in the cabin of another crew member, Martinez says.

Customs Department authorities in Jamaica estimate the street value of the cocaine at $1.1 million, according to the Jamaica Observer.

The newspaper says some of the cocaine was found strapped to the body of a crew member, while the rest was in a suitcase.

Both of the crew members are Jamaican.

The ship had visited Cartagena, Colombia before arriving in Montego Bay, on a seven-day cruise from Colon, Panama, that also includes stops in Grand Cayman and Roatan, Honduras.

"Royal Caribbean is cooperating fully with authorities during this investigation and will continue providing any assistance necessary to prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law," Martinez says.

This is not the only recent large-scale bust involving a Royal Caribbean ship. In December, three crew members on the line's Enchantment of the Seas were busted on shore in Baltimore for possession of $65,000 in cocaine. A few weeks law enforcement authorities found another $94,000 worth of heroin and cocaine was found on the ship.

In another recent case, a Jamaican waiter on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas was found guilty in Bermuda of conspiring to import more than $425,000 worth of cocaine onto the island. A sizeable stash was found hidden under a chair in the ship's disco.

There have been a bunch of smaller busts too. Just last week, In Jamaica, a passenger on the line's Voyager of the Seas was arrested with a small amount of cocaine as the ship made the maiden call at the brand new Jamaican port of Falmouth. The passenger was fined $2,000 and spent seven days in prison.

In a recent interview with AOL Travel News, Gary Bald, who heads Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s global security department, and formerly held the third most senior ports in the FBI, says the cruise company is focused on keeping drugs off its ships.

"What we see is occasional successes by our joint team, our security folks and our law enforcement partners," he says. "It doesn't happen often for us, but it happens enough to keep us focused on it."
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"detained a crew member and found that he was in possession of 18 kilos of cocaine."

A short time later, authorities came back onboard the cruise ship and found an additional 15 kilos of cocaine in the cabin of another crew member, Martinez says. "No Dude, I swear I ain't a fuckin' rat...It just must have been a coincidence that the police came back..."

April 03 2011 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Brittany: I don't care if your grammar is or not correct. I read the context of your comment
not the words used to convey it. Am sure you are aware that a very large portion of american college and high school students are very poor spellers and unable to write a coherent understandable sentence, as displayed in some of the comments above.

February 27 2011 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Roger Lee: Your command of the English language is enlightening. You criticize Britanny for saying " for so cheap" and you have done the same. The word is re-sell not resale. You took the word from the person that used it properly and used it improperly
Actually the servers and employees of the cruise lines are hired for contracts of 6 months at a time. The lines pay them a very small stipend. the bulk of their income is derived from tips from the passengers who tip according to the service they provide.
Some lines, Carnival, charge a fixed amount at the end of the cruise which is divided among all the crew members.
T Goose: So the writer di not enter the word "ago", it can happen when you are wiring fast, I know it has happened to me.

February 27 2011 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shocked, I tell you! I'm shocked that drugs are aboard cruise ships! What next, gambling at Rick's place??

February 27 2011 at 2:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
T. Goose

I always thought one had to have more than a grade school education to be a writer. Apparently AOL Travel does not have the ability to complete a sentence.

I.e., A few weeks law enforcement authorities... (Copied from the article).... What does that really mean? Are we supposed to ad lib and fill in the blanks on our own? This is journalism at its best? (And they do this for pay?) Why? How? I want a job with great pay and benefits that myself or anyone else doesn't have to be accountable for too. These 'errors' happen way too often and are the result of just PLAIN INCOMEPETENCE!!!!

Perhaps they should hire someone with more than a grade school and rudimentary familiarty of the language from Mexico to be on their staff.

Screw politically correct. Quit slaughtering my language while PRETENDING to be professional.

February 27 2011 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Emily Mendes

Those three crew members caught in Baltimore were not identified as US citizens or any other country of origin, however on two occasions the Jamaicans were identified. As a Jamaican living in the US, Your articlel eaves no room for me to assume that we are the only identifiable people that smoke, sell and traffic drugs. " hypocrites"


February 27 2011 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Drugs are being deposited into the US by boat, air and sea because the demand is so great, the money entices anyone looking to make extra cash to do whatever it takes to deliver the drugs and get the pay off. Nothing will stop drug dealers as long as the demand for their product exists.

February 27 2011 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Candy Klieman: The staff at the RC cruises I have taken (5) were from the Philiipines, Sweden, American and some from Brazil, Sto. Domingo and Mexico no Jamaicans. Must say they did an excellent job of caring for for us.

February 26 2011 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The DEA and the Coast Guard should board each and every ship coming from a cruise in the area where all the islands can be said to "traffic" in cocaine and search them from bow to stern, top to bottom. this will slow if not stop the traffic of illegal drugs.

February 26 2011 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Of course they are black they are from Jamaica, but I have planty of white friends that do or have done coke. It's always a racist thing with most of you people.

February 26 2011 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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