Top boxer latest to be charged over $1.5 billion cocaine bust linked to Kinahan in US


US authorities report that they have not completed the investigation into drug trafficking linked to the Kinahan Cartel

His arrest earlier this month signaled that US authorities were not yet finished investigating the largest drug bust ever by the US Customs and Border Protection.

The 43-year-old Montenegrin fighter was arrested at Miami International Airport on October 31 on his way to a boxing convention in Puerto Rico, which his lawyer said was “a surprise”.

“He was not wanted before. His name has been flagged, but he has never been searched before,” Lawrence A. Hashish said.

Eight people have been jailed so far – all crew members aboard the massive MSC Gayane freighter which docked in Philadelphia en route to Europe in 2019.

The $1.5 billion shipment had been hidden on the ship after the drugs were loaded onto the vessel at sea near the coast of Peru.

Gogic has been charged with three counts of violating federal drug law enforcement in the Maritimes and one count of conspiracy and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to the life imprisonment.

He is accused of having orchestrated the operation by coordinating with crew members, Colombian traffickers and European dockers.

Prosecutors allege Gogic and others used “meticulous planning” to transport cocaine to Europe from Colombia via US ports, using commercial freighters.

“Plot members loaded the commercial cargo ships at night near the coast and ports, working with crew members who hoisted loads of cocaine from speedboats that approached the vessels at several locations along their way,” prosecutors said.

The defendants allegedly loaded the drugs using nets and the ship’s cranes. Once the cocaine was on board, the crew hid it in shipping containers.

The complex operation involved gaining access to crew, route, real-time positioning and geolocation data for each vessel, prosecutors said.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace called Gogic’s arrest and indictment “a blow to the organization and individuals responsible for distributing massive amounts of cocaine.”

The indictment shows that the charges against Gogic are not limited to the seizure carried out on board the MSC Gayane.

The international drug conspiracy relied on another group of port workers to “smuggle in and remove cocaine from shipping containers” in Europe, prosecutors said.

They added that “significant quantities of cocaine” had been seized at ports in Panama, Peru and the Netherlands, as well as in other countries.

In April this year, the US Department of Justice announced a $5 million reward for Christy Kinahan sr and her two sons Daniel and Christy jr.

US Ambassador to Ireland Clare Cronin announced the Kinahan bounty at a specially called press conference in Dublin last April.

A high-level delegation also revealed how members of the gang had also been placed on the US sanctions list.

Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Undersecretary Brian E. Nelson said, “The Kinahan Organized Crime Group smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, into Europe and poses a threat to the entire licit economy because of its role in international money laundering.

At the time of the 2019 bust in Philadelphia, Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll told The Sunday World they were in contact with US authorities about the seizure.

The huge shipment of cocaine had been financed by European criminal gangs working together to ship the drugs across the Atlantic.


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