Fact Check

Clinton Foundation Cargo Ship Raided at Port of Baltimore Reveals 'Sick Secret'?

Articles alleging that a cargo ship owned by the Clinton Foundation was found to contain foreign refugees and illegal substances are fake news.

Published May 11, 2017

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A Clinton Foundation cargo ship arriving from Africa was raided and found to contain "illegal contraband" in the form of foreign refugees, narcotics, weapons, and illegal fruits.

On 11 May 2017, a slew of disreputable web sites posted an article alleging that a massive number of contraband items were discovered during a customs raid on a container ship belonging to the Clinton Foundation:

A ship owned and operated by the Clinton Foundation was raided as it arrived from Africa this morning at the Port of Baltimore. The ship, which was supposed to be carrying “emergency supplies,” was actually carrying a cargo that had authorities stunned. BPA Harbormaster Jake Cummings explained to CNN:

“We received a tip that the Clinton Foundation flagship, The Chelsea, was carrying illegal contraband into the United States. We honestly didn’t know what to expect, but what we found was simply…surreal. In the middle of the ship’s large manifest of containers, most of which were empty, we found 14 containing…people. Yes, people.

They were all Refugees from places like Yemen and Syria and not a single one had any kind of documentation. We interviewed those who spoke English and were told that for $40K, anyone can catch a ride to the United States on a ship nobody would ever suspect.”

The article continues with a list of more illegal items allegedly discovered aboard "the Chelsea":

Two other containers were also found to contain multiple crates of contraband, including illegal fruits that could potentially carry foreign insects and foodborne illnesses, weapons without serial numbers on them and no less than 30 pounds of marijuana. Several of the refugees were also found to be in possession of black tar heroin, an addictive, smokable form of the drug.

Without exception, all the above claims were fabricated, however. No such raid was reported in any legitimate news sources. CNN, specifically, did not run an interview with the Port of Baltimore harbor master in connection with this or any similar raid. We have found no evidence that the Clinton Foundation owns or operates any kind of cargo ship called "the Chelsea."

In addition, the article originated on a web site known as The Last Line of Defense (about which we have written many times), a "satirical" venue that cranks out false clickbait stories on a daily basis. As the site's administrators note on in a disclaimer on their "About Us" page:

The Resistance may include information from sources that may or may not be reliable and facts that don’t necessarily exist. All articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney. Pictures that represent actual people should be considered altered and not in any way real.


Stryker.   "BREAKING: Clinton Foundation Cargo Ship Raided At Port Of Baltimore Reveals Sick Secret."    The Last Line of Defense.   11 May 2017.

David Emery is a West Coast-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.