Two drug smuggling ships were caught in the Mediterranean, both freighters registered in Tanzania, both carrying hashish, with both crews setting the cargo on fire after they were approached. Sounds interesting. Current estimates of the amount of drugs are 30 tons on the Gold Star and 20 tons on the Luna-S. These are police estimates of drug volume so they might get reduced to a sandwich baggy in some guy's locker on each boat by next weekend [EDIT: The Gold Star's cargo is down to 3.75 tons but they're blaming the fire for that], but from here and now it looks like an awful lot was intercepted. A website claiming to list the largest drug seizures in history would include either of these two ships near the top. This is going to be a huge hit to the smugglers.

I suspect that both drug ships belong to the same drug ring and that someone decided to bring the hammer down on them. My pet hypothesis is that one drug org is siccing the cops on its competition. Too many details... )

While the seizures are most likely the result of good old policework, I have a pet hypothesis that someone provided enough information to target one specific drug ring for a strategic purpose. There's not enough information to say who either side was. There are enough fragments to begin to suspect just about everybody operating in the Mediterranean region. The most obvious reason would be for one gang to knock out a competitor and establish higher prices for its own drugs. The timing of the Syria conflict presents another possibility: this could be the CIA hitting Syria's money supply. Or it could be Syria and Russia hitting the CIA as a response to the arming of AQ forces as alleged by Bodansky. We don't know enough to say anything about it, but I'm not going to let that stop me.

I'm surprised at how little press this story is getting given that it involves fire and drugs and novelty and high seas adventure and a second big event to keep the story in the news after the first one. The Daily Show covered it, but that's about it for the English-language press.

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