Bag of Cocaine Washes Up near Mystery Trinidad and Tobago ‘Ghost Ship’ Oil Spill

Workers from state own Heritage Petroleum Oil and Gas Company clean up an oil spill that r
AP Photo/Akash Boodan

Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago announced on Sunday that a plastic bag containing more than $75,000 worth of cocaine washed up on a beach near the spot where a mysterious ship capsized this month, causing an oil spill that affected about ten miles of Tobago’s coastline.

The discovery immediately prompted a new investigation to determine if the bag of cocaine is linked to the mysterious oil-leaking “ghost ship” that caused a national emergency in the island nation.

Trinidad and Tobago’s police released a statement on Monday stating that the bag, containing 1.109 kilograms of cocaine (roughly 2.44 pounds) was found ashore at Cove Estate, Tobago.

“During the exercise, officers proceeded to a bushy area at Unity Lane, where they conducted an extensive search which resulted in the discovery of three police operational jackets, three pairs of black tactical pants, one police cap, one police beret, one police reflective vest, one camouflage jacket and one pair of camouflage pants,” the statement read, adding that the investigations are ongoing.

The discovery of the bag of cocaine raised further questions, as it was found near the location where a ship of unknown origin, flag, and crew – so far only identified as Gulfstream – capsized on February 7, leaking an oil-like substance that affected about ten miles of Tobago’s coastline, leading to a national emergency.

Last week, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of National Security informed that, through the use of satellite imagery, and with collaboration from Aruba and Guyana, it had determined that Gulfsteam was being towed by a tugboat of Panamanian origin identified as Solo Creed.

Shipping records stated that both ships were allegedly heading towards Guyana, but Guyanese authorities confirmed that neither vessel had approached its waters.

As cleanup continues, the oil spill was reportedly being carried by the waves deeper into the Caribbean Sea, past neighboring Venezuela’s northern coast.

Senior Superintendent Rodhil Kirk told the local outlet Newsday on Monday that although the investigations are ongoing, the police still do not have any evidence to link the discovered bag of cocaine to the mysterious capsized ship.

When asked by Newsday, the minority leader of the Tobago House of Assembly Kelvon Morris abstained from offering any details.

“The information as I understand it is that investigations are still ongoing and as such, I prefer to await the outcome of those investigations before making a comprehensive statement,” Morris said. “I look forward to a full, thorough and transparent investigation in all matters related to the wrecked vessel that is the subject of public concern in Tobago at this time.”

“When it’s all said and done, whoever is responsible for this vessel and this disaster must be held accountable and liable for the damage it has caused to Tobago’s marine life and the livelihood of Tobagonians,” he continued.

Opposition parliament member David Lee criticized Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Minister Stuart Young, demanding he “comes clean” as the mystery of the leaking “ghost ship” remains unresolved.

“Is the owner of this vessel linked to some energy deal in Trinidad and Tobago, either at Paria Fuel Trading Company Ltd or Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd or some part of a distribution chain associated with these companies?” Lee asked on Friday during a media briefing.

The lawmaker demanded more transparency and answers regarding the crisis.

“It is totally incomprehensible the man stand in the Parliament and say after we have been producing oil for over 100 years, we cannot seal off the oil leak in Tobago or unable to gather any expertise to seal off the leak,” Lee said.

“Today as this nation faces a catastrophe of epic proportions with the oil spill in Tobago, Minister Young has kept to his usual play book of ‘no answers, no action and no accountability,” he continued. “Whenever there is an energy-related crisis, Minister Young as regulator runs away from accountability of providing answers.”

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.