The Gazette | Crew of ship caught with 1.5 tons of cocaine is authorized to leave ES


Crew members are being investigated by the Federal Police of Espírito Santo on suspicion of having contributed to the lifting of drugs onto the vessel

Published on November 8, 2023 at 1:41 pm

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Ship where 1.5 tons of cocaine was found leaves Vitória. (Ricardo Medeiros)

The 28 crew members and the ship where more than 1.5 tons of cocaine were found left the Port of Vitória, this Wednesday morning (8), bound for Rio de Janeiro (RJ). The investigation continues and the comparison of the fingerprints of the vessel’s occupants with those found in the bags containing the drugs is taking place in Brasília (DF), with no end in sight.

The Federal Police explained to the report The Gazette that, if the investigation points to the participation of any crew member in lifting the drugs onto the ship, they will ask the courts for the arrest of the suspect. If the ship is on the high seas, police authorities will have to wait for the vessel to dock before making the arrest.

Previously, the corporation had explained that the crew would only leave the State after completing DNA tests and comparing them with fingerprints taken from packages containing drugs placed on the vessel. This Wednesday (8), he reported that as the investigations have not ended and nothing has yet been proven against those on board, they cannot be forced to remain in the State.

Crew investigated

The ship then returned to Brazil and the Federal Police of Espírito Santo received a report that there was still 1.5 tons of the drug hidden, not found by the German police. When it docked at the Port of Vitória, bringing vehicles, federal police officers and Revenue agents carried out a sweep and found the rest of the drugs.

Unlike other seizures in the State, when drugs were placed in ship hulls or machinery boxes by divers, the material was found inside the vessel and was lifted (pulled up) by ropes. The region where the cocaine was initially placed on the ship was not disclosed, but the superintendent of the Federal Police in Espírito Santo, Eugênio Ricas, assured that this did not occur in Espírito Santo territory.

Ricas explained that, as the drugs were lifted, the ship’s crew may have participated. Because of this, everyone had their fingerprints taken and cannot leave Brazil until the comparison is completed.

“We intend not to allow the crew members to leave Brazil until we have the results of the fingerprint comparisons. Anyone who is identified could be arrested. This is important because after these people leave Brazil, we no longer have control. There is suspicion very large that some crew member participated in placing the drugs on the ship”, he pointed out on Monday (6).

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