Trail of Cocaine-Laden Ship Leads to JPMorgan Chase

Bank fund owns the MSC Gayane, but doesn't have operational control
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2019 4:04 PM CDT
Trail of Cocaine-Laden Ship Leads to JPMorgan Chase
The MSC Gayane is moored at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The cargo ship seized in the Port of Philadelphia last month with nearly 20 tons of cocaine aboard isn't owned by a ruthless criminal gang hiding out somewhere, or by organized crime bosses pulling the strings from their prison cells. It's owned, more or less, by JPMorgan Chase. Mediterranean Shipping Co., based in Switzerland, operates the MSC Gayane, Markets Insider reports. But JPMorgan helped finance MSC's purchase of it. The ship now is owned by client assets in a transportation strategy fund run for JPMorgan's asset-management arm. JPMorgan does not have operational control of the ship, per CNN. The bank had no comment.

At the moment, the federal government has custody of the MSC Gayane. "A seizure of a vessel this massive is complicated and unprecedented—but it is appropriate because the circumstances here are also unprecedented," said US Attorney William McSwain in a statement. The attorney’s office tweeted that several members of the container ship’s crew have been arrested and face federal charges, per People. The amount of cocaine on one ship, worth about $1.3 billion on the street and weighing as much as three African bull elephants, may be an indication that there's a glut in the worldwide supply, per Markets Insider. (A man fishing found 60 pounds of cocaine in the Florida Keys.)

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