Held at Gun Point, Handcuffed and Fired. MSC Seaside crewmember tells his story

Nov 29, 2018

Following November 17, drug bust in Port Miami when seven MSC Seaside crew members were arrested for smuggling cocaine, Law-enforcement officers boarded the Seaside for the second time on November 24th. During the raids many crew members were traumatized after they were interrogated by Customs and Border Protection officers, and some fired from the company. Many of the crew say they were left on their own, without support from MSC and the management. A crew member working for MSC Cruises for almost 6 years who was among the ones send back home and fired from the company has decided to step forward and tell his side of the story:

On November 17, I got up around 11 am and ready for work. As I was leaving the cabin along with my roommate who had work the same time upon opening the door I saw two CBP officers and the chief security at my door. 

One of the officer ask me my name and when I told him he said "turn around and face the wall” so I did exactly what he said.  He then proceeded to ask me questions, if I had money in my cabin and what I got on me, so I told him. He put handcuffs on me and the other officers stayed while he entered the cabin with k9 dog.

After they finished searching they took me off in handcuffs. While leaving the ship they pick up two South African girls at the gangway and put them in handcuffs too.

They took me inside the terminal building place me in a room and handcuff me to the metal chair I was sitting on. They had taken my phone from the cabin so one officer ask me to open the phone and he also asked if I had any child pornography in it or any terrorist materiel. I told him no.

There was a lot of action going on as I saw them bring in more crew members both man and women which all were in handcuffs and placed in different rooms.

Some time passed and I was removed from the room out into open space where I could see what was going on.I could see them processing and interviewing crew members who they caught with drugs and money.I could hear them talking and cheering about the good day they had and that they made a big bust, which was indeed true.

After they processed the ones that were involved they took me in a interview room and started to ask me questions. They ask "if I knew what was happening," I told them I can see.

They asked" if I know anything about the guys " I told them I know them because they were Jamaican and they have been working with the company around the same time as me but I made it clear I was not involved in there doing and its obvious because they didn't find me with anything incriminating. 

They said well it's one of three things going to happen.  Am going to get fired and send home, they are going to send me back on board but I have to provide them with information or I go face the judge.

I ask them face the Judge for what?! What's my charge? The officer said ok well is have the other two options. 

I told him I really don't want to lose my job but am not security and I work long hours and don't have time to work and watch people and what they are doing. I also told him I can only take care of myself and that's what I have been doing.

He sent back out and called in my friend who also wasn't involved he's was also given the same choice. Don't know fa sure what he said but apparently it was the same thing. We kept ask what was going on because we realized the time and that the ship was going to leave.

All we hear is someone will talk to soon.

Later in the evening we were talk to CBP office in cuff so we got upset as still no one is tell us anything. The officer there told us to calm down as the fact that we were at the office we are not charged with anything and that he was just doing what he was told. We were kept there until around 10 or 11 in the night, then we were transferred to a detention center.

At the center they gave us food and one guy was asking what was happening because he sees that we are not charged with any crime. We spent the night there and was picked up the next day put on a flight and sent home. They said that the captain had fired us for what I don't know.