MSC Seaman Charged In $1 Billion Cocaine Bust  

A US federal grand jury has indicted an MSC crew member for maritime drug-smuggling, a charge that carries a potential sentence of 10 years if convicted.

The crew members have been charged in connection with the discovery of 20 tons of cocaine aboard container ship MSC Gayane in June.

A total of six people have been arrested in connection with the case, one of the largest cocaine busts in US history.

While it was first stated that 16.5 tons of the drug were found aboard the ship, this number grew to 19.76 in the days that followed.

Officials estimated the value on the street at USD $1.3 billion.

Nenad Ilic, a nautical engineering trainee aboard the ship was charged with conspiring to violate maritime drug smuggling laws.

An affidavit alleged that crew members helped load the cocaine onto the MSC Gayane while it was at sea off the west coast of South America.

Citing an interview with one of the crew members, authorities said a total of 14 boats approached the vessel on two separate occasions during its voyage.