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Drug Smugglers Masquerading as Cruise Passengers Arrested

Brazilian law enforcement agencies arrested 6 people in the port of Santos, Brazil. The drug smugglers, 5 Brazilian nationals and one Argentine, were found to own 30 kgs of cocaine. They were arrested when they were about to board the COSTA DIADEMA on a transatlantic cruise to Europe.

Brazil’s Policia Federal released the report on April 18th. The vessel was about to embark upon an 18-night transatlantic cruise with stops in Tenerife, Barcelona, Cadiz in Spain, and then finally to Savona in Italy.

It is not clear whether the passengers were headed to Spain or Italy. The police dogs alerted the authorities, and when they investigated, they found 1.74 kgs of cocaine strapped to the waist of a man and the rest of the cocaine tucked away in hidden compartments in the luggage.

The frequency of these brazen tactics by the drug smuggling rings is increasing. On April 10th, 10 passengers were arrested when the MSC Seaside arrived in Spain during its transatlantic cruise from Brazil. They were found to have 54 kilos of cocaine.

Cruise ships are a lucrative target for the drug smuggling rings when they reposition for the summer season cruises in the Mediterranean, where the smugglers can try to smuggle drugs by blending in with the passengers. 

Passenger Ship COSTA DIADEMA is currently located at WMED – West Mediterranean at position 37° 59′ 07.5″ N, 000° 08′ 25.3″ Was reported by MarineTraffic Terrestrial Automatic Identification System on 2022-05-02 19:05 UTC (1 minute ago)
The wind in this area at that time blows from Southeast direction at force 2 Beaufort.
The vessel departed from CADIZ, ES on 2022-05-01 16:23 LT (UTC +2) and is currently sailing at 12.3 knots in Northeast direction heading to VALENCIA, ES with a reported Estimated Time of Arrival at 2022-05-03 07:00 LT (UTC +2) local time (in 9 hours, 52 minutes 
COSTA DIADEMA (IMO: 9636888) is a Passenger Ship that was built in 2014 (8 years ago) and is sailing under the flag of Italy.
Its carrying capacity is 133019 Gross Tonnage and her current draught is reported to be 8.5 meters. Her length overall (LOA) is 305.7 meters and her width is 37.2 meters.

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