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Thread: This has been big news in Philadelphia

  1. #1
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    This has been big news in Philadelphia

    Extracted from today's WSJ:

    By Costas Paris
    July 9, 2019 11:20 am ET
    U.S. authorities have seized a large container ship operated by Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., three weeks after customs authorities found 20 tons of cocaine on the vessel.

    The MSC Gayane, which is owned by J.P. Morgan Asset Management and chartered to MSC, the world’s second-biggest container ship operator by capacity, is “subject to possible forfeiture,” U.S. Attorney William McSwain said in a statement.

    Built in 2018, the ship has capacity for around 10,000 containers and is worth about $90 million. It is anchored at the Delaware River near the Philadelphia port and is expected to stay there for an extended period, according to people involved in the matter.

    ”A seizure of a vessel this massive is complicated and unprecedented—but it is appropriate because the circumstances here are also unprecedented,” Mr. McSwain said. “When a vessel brings such an outrageous amount of deadly drugs into Philadelphia waters, my office will pursue the most severe consequences possible against all involved parties in order to protect our district—and our country.”
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

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  2. #2
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    I am not that familiar with forfeiture law, but I hope the government must prove the owners had a nexus with or knowledge of the illicit activity before it can glom onto something.

    Incidentally, the feds have given notice that they are proceeding to try forfeiture of Epstein’s Manhattan mansion worth a reputed $77M on the basis some of his illicit activities occurred there.
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  3. #3
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    Well if corporations are people, then treat them like people get treated. Law enforcement regularly siezes assets presumed to be acquired or used in the drug trade under forfiture laws without a hearing why should they treat this differently. Let them screw everyone equally.
    "The only thing that we learn from torture is the depths of our own moral depravity"

  4. #4
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    I guess if you start holding the big corps accountable they may start doing a better job of monitoring what type of product is being transported in their ships... Government will probably sell the ships to the cartel though...

  5. #5
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    Makes me wonder how many tons of it make it through. I’m all for confiscating the ship to be sold for scrap metal period, otherwise The government probably would sell it or a cartel
    This is your mind on drugs!

  6. #6
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    Forfeiture aside thats a LOT of coke. I dont know what street value we assign these days, but my calculator says thats worth something like a billion dollars. No doubt someone is pizzed but maybe not about the chump change ship.
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  7. #7
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    I am recalling that because of the law or prosecutorial fiat they do not or cannot confiscate or use forfeiture proceedings for priority over bank liens against vehicles. The impediment presumably is because banks would be innocent of any criminal intent by borrowers. I would think the same impediment would apply to lessor-owners such as JP Morgan Asset Management in this case. The forfeiture laws are known to be funky and irrationally discriminatory in favor of law enforcers though. Lots of cases of innocent people being screwed around with these laws. There was a lot of talk and action in Congress aimed at changing the law to give protections against predatory prosecutors, but I don’t know if anything came of it.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgrist View Post
    Makes me wonder how many tons of it make it through
    We were on a cruise that stopped in Mazatlan not too long ago and I watched them load a cargo ship with hundreds of cars. I was amazed 1) that Mazatlan exports cars and 2) how easy it would have been to smuggle something on that ship. It was utter chaos and the mexican dudes who inspected the cars looked at maybe 1 in 20 besides to glance at them as they drove into the ship at 20 mph. I sat on that balcony with a couple of cold ones and wondered what walter white would do.

    BTW, thanks for that brief explanation Joe. The whole RICO and confiscation power of our govt is scary and I assume much of it happens without ever seeing the light of day. That concept seems like a solution for banking (and other needs) for the cannibis industry here.
    "Back after 5 years.

    I thought you had died.

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    Splitting my time between the montane and the mesas

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
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    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  9. #9
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    Just as a little point of information---this ship is not in the port of Philadelphia proper. Rather it is at anchor off Lewis Delaware in what is called a deep water anchorage. It is also the mouth of the Delaware Bay. I guess you don't try to make a get away with something of this size
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner

  10. #10
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    A unanimous Supreme Court came down on civil forfeitures early this year. It used to be like the wild west when there was any serious amount of property to seize.

    The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Constitution places limits on the ability of states and localities to take and keep cash, cars, houses and other private property used to commit crimes.
    Seize This
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  11. #11
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    In another big drug grab, US Coast Guard members seized a submarine at sea carrying 17,700 pounds of cocaine
    Some of the 55 suspected drug smugglers will be transferred to federal authorities while others will be given to international authorities to be prosecuted in their home countries, the Coast Guard said.
    El Chapo may have company in deeplock soon, but it's doubtful there'll be any late night canasta games for them......Ben

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  12. #12
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    Can you imagine being inside that thing and hearing someone "knocking on your door"?

    Those boys had some very BIG BALLS
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner

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