Cocaine Stash Found Attached to LNG Carrier's Rudder


Published Apr 15, 2019 5:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] On April 3, authorities in Trinidad and Tobago found 200 kilos of cocaine near the rudder trunk of the Teekay-operated LNG carrier Hispania Spirit. 

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, the master of the Spirit spotted suspicious packages towards the stern of the vessel during a regular security check at about 0800 hours. He notified the authorities, and TT Coast Guard divers found seven bales of cocaine attached to the rudder or rudder trunk (accounts differ). The stash weighed about 200 kilos, an amount that would be worth an estimated $18 million (TT$120 million).

Before she departed, the Hispania Spirit's 28 crewmembers were interviewed by Trinidad and Tobago's Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit. It is not known if the narcotics were planted in Trinidad and Tobago or at a previous port of call, and the investigation continues. 

It was the second time that cocaine has been found in the Hispania Spirit's rudder trunk. In September 2015, during a port call at Pisco, Peru, the Peruvian Navy conducted a search of the ship after a report of suspicious activity. They found 211 kilos of cocaine and one stowaway in the cavity.