1.2 ton of cocaine smuggled on board of GRIMALDI ro-ro ship at Santos

Security at Santos port, Brazil, spotted suspicious activity at Italian ro-ro ship GRANDE NIGERIA seaside at dawn Aug 7, on CCTV cameras. A speedboat came alongside berthed GRANDE NIGERIA, some objects were hoisted from boat to ship’s cargo deck, i.e. there were people on board waiting for boat with its’ cargo. Police and Port Security officers couldn’t reach the ship in time to detain perpetrators, during ship’s search 18 suitcases were found in containers with rice and scrap. Waterproof suitcases contained cocaine, of 1.2 ton total weight. An investigation was launched, probing both port workers and crew probable involvement. GRANDE NIGERIA left Santos on Aug 9, bound reportedly, for Europe, hopefully with all crew on board. Containers where suitcases were hidden were destined for Antwerp.
Ro-ro cargo ship GRANDE NIGERIA, IMO 9246580, GT 56738, built 2003, flag Italy, owner GRIMALDI.



My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.