Weekly Maritime Security Report

Select Maritime News

Brazil: Authorities seize 800 kg of cocaine at Suape port

22 June

Authorities seized 800 kg of cocaine hidden inside a banana container at Suape port. Authorities found the narcotics during a routine container inspection. The narcotics were bound for Belgium.


Libya: Coast guard intercepts 200 migrants in Mediterranean

22 June

The coast guard intercepted some 200 Europe-bound migrants aboard five boats off the northern Mediterranean coast in three separate incidents. The migrants were all nationals of unspecified sub-Saharan countries, except for eight who were Bangladeshi nationals. Libya remains a major transit point for African migrants seeking to reach European shores.


Philippines: Navy intercepts boat off Zamboanga trafficking 100 people to Malaysia

18 June

The navy acted on a tip-off and intercepted a boat carrying at least 100 suspected victims of human trafficking in waters off Zamboanga City, local media reported. The victims came from different parts of the Philippines and were to be transported to Sandakan, Malaysia, through Taganak Island in Tawi-Tawi. The trafficking of Filipinos to Malaysia illegally through Western Mindanao is widespread. Illegal recruitment syndicates are known to operate through Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi, where recruits cross over to Sabah in Malaysia, which serves as an entry point to Dubai and other countries.


Romania: Police dismantle network smuggling migrants to the UK

17 June

A major police operation by Europol and Romanian authorities resulted in the arrest of 11 members of an organised crime group involved in illegally smuggling over 300 migrants to the UK. The group allegedly used Romanian companies and truck drivers to smuggle migrants to the UK through ports in France. More than 50 identified members of the criminal group remain at large. Migrant smugglers regularly use French and Dutch ports to reach the UK.


Spain: Authorities seize 10 tonnes of cannabis off Mediterranean coast

18 June

Police intercepted a vessel with 10 tonnes of cannabis off the country’s Mediterranean coast. Customs authorities arrested eight Ukrainian nationals following the operation. Spain is a major hub for cannabis trafficking.


Tunisia: Vessel carrying migrants to call at Zarzis

18 June

A vessel carrying around 75 migrants and refugees will call at the port of Zarzis after more than two weeks at sea following authorisation, a Red Crescent official said. Authorities stopped the Egyptian oil service tug for Mediterranean rigs from landing at the port on 1 June. Efforts by Mediterranean nations to reduce migrant arrivals pose a risk to vessels passing the North African coast. In August 2018, one vessel remained at sea for two weeks with 40 migrants after Tunisian authorities refused it entry.


United States: Authorities seize 16.5 tonnes of cocaine in Philadelphia

18 June

Federal authorities seized 16.5 tonnes of cocaine at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia. The haul was seized aboard a cargo ship that had travelled from Chile, Panama and the Bahamas. Two crew members were arrested in connection with the seizure. The seizure is among the largest ever in the US, according to a Pennsylvania official.

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