293 kilos of cocaine found on MAERSK BATAM, Turkey

293 kilos of cocaine were found hidden in a container with bananas on board of Singapore-flagged container ship on its’ arrival to Izmit on May 11. Vessel was taken under control while transiting Dardanelles. Understood Turkish anti drug agencies were tipped off earlier, and were waiting for container ship arrival to Turkish waters. According to available information, 122 containers were scanned by X-ray, suspicious were checked with dogs. Vessel was bound for Izmit, arriving from Malta.
Turkey doesn’t yet reveal the name of the vessel, but according to hints and available information, including schedule, vessel in question is MAERSK BATAM, deployed on EcuMed Service. Vessel is out of schedule, expected departure on May 14 instead of May 11 or May 12. As of 0500 UTC May 14, vessel was still at Izmit. According to Turkish media updates, Master and Chief Engineer were detained for investigation. Vessel arrived to Europe from Central America, with calls to Colombia and Panama ports.
Container ship MAERSK BATAM, IMO 9355331, dwt 43133, capacity 3194 TEU, built 2008, flag Singapore, manager MAERSK LINE A/S.

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in many piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.