Drug smuggling on merchant ships remains a truly global problem, as a new report from Greenland proves.

News has emerged of a seizure of hashish on a Royal Arctic Line (RAL) container ship on 25 November last year.

The discovery of drugs with a street value of up to DKK 12m ($1.74m) was reported by the Sermitsiaq.AG website.

The 2,148-teu Tukuma Arctica (built 2020) was docked in Nunuk when seafarers found the hashish.

“An object was found that was attached to the grating on the outside of the ship,” police commissioner Malik Sandgreen told Greenland broadcaster KNR.

Sandgreen added crew members had alerted customs officials that there was a suspicious package on the vessel.

“The employees became aware of something that shouldn’t be there. They therefore informed the customs officers, who looked at it together with a diver,” he said.

The consignment was confiscated by police, but there have been no arrests in the case.

The problem is not a new one for Greenland.

As recently as June 2022, Danish tax authorities found 21kg of hashish on board a trawler.

RAL has not commented.

Canary Islands seizures

In recent weeks, Spanish authorities have carried out two major interceptions of vessels carrying cocaine past the Canary Islands.

A total of 4.5 tonnes of cocaine was found on a livestock carrier last week.

The drugs were hidden inside a container of cattle feed on the 4,100-dwt Orion V (built 1973).

Earlier in January, police found three tonnes of cocaine on a Greek-managed cargo vessel off the Canary Islands.

The 4,300-dwt Blume (built 2005) was intercepted 193 nautical miles (360 km) from the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.