For the second time in April, Brazilian drug smugglers trying to transport cocaine between Brazil and Europe were arrested while pretending to be passengers on cruises. The Brazilian police detained the six culprits after attempting to board Costa’s Costa Diadema in the port of Santos on April 18th.
Cruise ships are immensely appealing to drug smuggling rings when they reposition for the summer season cruises in the Mediterranean. Although drug smuggling via cruise ship seems like a rarity, a different group of ten was caught masquerading as passengers on April 10th with about 54 Kilos of cocaine hidden in 15 various pieces of luggage.
Of the six arrested on April 18th, five were Brazilian nationals, and one was Argentinian. The group was arrested following the discovery of 30 kgs of cocaine when the MSC Seaside arrived in Spain during its transatlantic cruise from Brazil. Police dogs were able to sniff out the drugs and alert authorities in time for their capture. The cruise was set to stop in Tenerife, Cadiz, and Barcelona in Spain before her final port, Savona, Italy. It is still unclear whether the passengers were heading to Spain or Italy.
Over the past two years, Authorities have indicated that drug gangs have been employing new and more aggressive strategies in their efforts to move narcotics from South America. European ports have also noticed a change in the shipping of the drugs, highlighting the difference in using lesser-known ports and an increase in shipments, all to evade law enforcement.