February 22, 2012
(February 15, 3 p.m. EST) -- The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency has released details concerning the seizure of large amounts of cocaine from a cruise ship believed to be P&O Cruises' Aurora. The incident took place on January 25 at Pier 35 in San Francisco and involved 13 kilos (nearly 29 pounds) of the drug, according to a statement from the American law enforcement agency. According to news reports, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Edward Lowe confirmed that 7 kilos of cocaine had been seized from the cabin of an Australian national and 5 kilos had been taken from the cabin of a New Zealand couple in two separate searches. The cocaine, discovered inside luggage, has a street value estimated at around $1 million. All three suspects were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. As a standard practice, Customs and Border Protection does not release the name of ships involved in such incidents. However, P&O's Aurora was the sole cruise ship berthed at Pier 35 on Jan. 25, according to the cruise-ship berthing schedule of the Port of San Francisco. Aurora is sailing on a world cruise, and had come into San Francisco, via Curacao, for an overnight stay en route to the South Pacific. The ship is currently in New Zealand. A P&O Cruises spokeswoman told Cruise Critic in an email: “There is an ongoing investigation and we are not at liberty to discuss this further. All enquiries should be directed to the Department of Homeland Security. “ --by Jamey Bergman, Web Content Editor U.K.