Police seize 5.3 tons of cocaine off Sicily
Again and again there are sometimes spectacular drug discoveries in the Mediterranean. The Italian financial police have now seized a record amount of cocaine.
Italy’s financial police have packages weighing more than 5.3 tons in a Mediterranean operation cocaine and an estimated market value of around 850 million euros.
In the large-scale operation off the south-west coast of Sicily, five people were also arrested, according to the financial police. It is said to be the largest cocaine seizure ever carried out on Italian territory.
Fishing trawler as a trigger
The investigators succeeded in striking the international drug trade with an extraordinary operation. During reconnaissance flights, the forces in the air noticed how a fishing cutter was conspicuously approaching a merchant ship that they had been observing for a few days in the waters. The fishing boat cast off from the Calabrian coast, the financial police said in a statement.
Early on Wednesday morning, investigators then observed how numerous packages were brought onto the deck of the merchant ship and promptly thrown into the water as the fishing trawler approached, to be picked up by the crew of the smaller boat.
During the subsequent access by the financial police, a large amount of drugs was found – two Tunisians, an Italian, a Frenchman and an Albanian were arrested. The merchant ship was escorted by the navy to the port of Palermo (Sicily).
Again and again there are sometimes spectacular drug discoveries in the Mediterranean. In recent months, the Italian financial police have repeatedly managed to seize tons of drugs.