Thursday, October 30, 2014

90 Pounds of Cocaine Found on Cargo Ship Owned by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Father-in-Law

Just days before the election The Nation features this story:
Before the Ping May, a rusty cargo vessel, could disembark from the port of Santa Marta en route to the Netherlands in late August, Colombian inspectors boarded the boat and made a discovery. Hidden in the ship’s chain locker, amidst its load of coal bound for Europe, were approximately 40 kilograms, or about 90 pounds, of cocaine. A Colombian Coast Guard official told The Nation that there is an ongoing investigation.

The seizure of the narcotics shipment in the Caribbean port occurred far away from Kentucky, the state in which Senator Mitch McConnell is now facing a career-defining election. But the Republican Senate minority leader has the closest of ties to the owner of the Ping May, the vessel containing the illicit materials: the Foremost Maritime Corporation, a firm founded and owned by McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family.

Though Foremost has played a pivotal role in McConnell’s life, bestowing the senator with most of his personal wealth and generating thousands in donations to his campaign committees, the drug bust went unnoticed in Kentucky, where every bit of McConnell-related news has generated fodder for the campaign trail. That’s because, like many international shipping companies, Chao’s firm is shrouded from public view, concealing its identity and limiting its legal liability through an array of tax shelters and foreign registrations. Registered through a limited liability company in the Marshall Islands, the Ping May flies the Liberian flag.

McConnell’s ties to the Chaos go back to the late 1980s, when James Chao began donating to the senator. In 1993, McConnell married James’s daughter, Elaine Chao, a Republican activist and then-former Reagan administration official who would later serve as Secretary ofLabor in the George W. Bush cabinet. James Chao emigrated to the United States from Taiwan, and founded the Foremost Maritime Corporation upon settling in New York. The company has grown significantly over the years, from acting as maritime agent during the Vietnam War to controlling a fleet of approximately 16 dry bulk cargo ships in operation today.


  1. Well now we have to go back and re-examine this "holding your nose" issue.

  2. Wow! Mitch is (of course) not the only politician up to his nose in it...Wouldn't you know it, Clinton's been there, done that:

    I recall Dr. Block discussing how the black market tends to favor unsavory characters in Defending the Undefendable:

    "Whenever the government outlaws a commodity for which there are consumers, be it whiskey, drugs, gambling, prostitution, or high interest loans, the underworld enters into the industry that law-abiding entrepreneurs fear to service. There is nothing in whiskey, drugs, gambling, prostitution, or moneylending (sic) that is intrinsically criminal. It is solely because of a legal prohibition that gangland methods become associated with these fields." (pg. 123)

    How many people in various government positions are on the take or are literal drug dealers?!

    The War on Drugs...what a racket!

  3. Only 90 lbs, sounds like a setup to me.