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The New York Times February 5, 1947
Ship From France Yields Heroin Valued at $250,000-- Called Largest Haul in 9 Years


The largest seizure of narcotics in nine years was reported here yesterday after a customs agent found heroin on a seaman and went on to uncover a shipboard cache valued in the illicit market at $250,000.

For nearly a week Federal agents, including specialists of the Customs Agency Service, had been scrutinizing the Government owned liner John Ericsson, the former Swedish luxury ship Kungsholm. Their search was routine, part of a constant vigilance over ships from French ports.

Yesterday William Colis, a port patrol officer of the regular customs staff, found two packages containing sixteen ounces of heroin on one of the ship's oilers, [sic] , a native of Corsica. Other agents were called in and further search of the ship uncovered 100 ounces of pure heroin, some in [sic] cabin.

The seizure was announced in Washington by E. J. Shamhart, Deputy Commissioner of Customs. George Collins, in charge at headquarters of the Customs Agency Service in New York, said there was evidence that [sic] might be a member of a smuggling ring. The oiler was being questioned farther at the service's offices in 253 Broadway.

The seizure took place yesterday at 10 A.M. On board the liner. She is tied to Pier 90, at West Fiftieth Street. The ship docked there a week ago and Treasury agents boarded her for a preliminary search on the night of her arrival.

Authorities in Washington said heroin was valued by the underworld at $2,500 an ounce. They reported that the total contraband shipment was found in nine parcels.

The smuggling attempt might have been successful but for the alertness of the customs man. Mr. Colis searched the seaman as he was leaving the ship and found the small packages concealed in his clothing.


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