16 Passengers Aboard Cruise Ship Arrested for Cocaine Smuggling in Santos Port
March 27: Brazilian Federal Police arrested 16 passengers of the Costa Favolosa cruise ship carrying a total of 360 kilos of cocaine in their luggage (each with between 16 and 19kg of cocaine in their luggage.) In addition to the drugs they also each had around $1,000 USD in cash on their persons when they were detained.
The arrest was made on Wednesday, March 27, in Santos, the cruise ship port for calls to São Paulo. The boat made a stop at the Santos quay before continuing on to Europe . Ten Brazilians, three Belgians and three French were arrested (eight women and eight men, all under 30 years old), were arrested.
The PF investigates whether the suspects were used as “mules” – hired only for transport – or are part of an international narcotics trafficking organization. None of them had a criminal record.
The high purity drug was discovered by the ship’s security officers during an electronic inspection of the baggage cleared by the suspects. In addition to cocaine, each bag contained about $1,000 USD, which could be an advance for the transportation of the drug.
Triggered, a PF team boarded and arrested the suspects. They were taken to the Federal Police station at the passenger terminal and, after being charged, they proceeded to the Provisional Detention Center (CDP) of São Vicente. Earlier in the evening, the ship was given permission to travel. The Costa Favolosa would still pass through other Brazilian ports before continuing to destinations in Spain and Italy.