SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Brazil seizes 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on Italian ship reportedly attacked by pirates

Brazilian authorities said on Monday August 13th that they seized 1.32 metric tonnes (2,910 pounds) of cocaine aboard an Italian-flagged ship in Brazil's main port of Santos, near Sao Paulo.

Brazil seizes 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on Italian ship reportedly attacked by pirates
File photo: Joe Raedle/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP.

“The drugs were divided into 1,202 tablets distributed in 41 sacks” in two containers on the Grande Francia ship, which had arrived from Argentina, the customs department said.

According to G1 news site, the ship was attacked by pirates on Sunday. However it was unclear whether the incident was connected to the drugs discovery.

According to O Globo site, more than 1,322 kilograms of cocaine were seized, the second large drugs bust at the port in a week, hidden in 41 sacks in two shipping containers. Four armed men boarded the boat 15-kilometres off the coastline for two hours on the morning of Sunday August 12th, according to the Brazilian media outlet's report, leading to speculation that the ship had been targeted by pirates. 

The federal police in Santos said that a pirate incident had occurred but targeting a different vessel.

“We are working on the case,” the police said in a statement. The customs service said that so far this year it has intercepted 13,518 kilos of drugs (29,802 pounds) in 27 operations at Santos port, the biggest in Latin America. This is more than the total seized in 2017.

READ MORE: Alleged drug trafficker arrested in Mexico over disappearance of three Italians

ROME

‘Bank robber’ rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

Four people were arrested in Rome after a suspected would-be bank robber was rescued from a tunnel under a road, police said on Friday.

'Bank robber' rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

An Italian man had to be rescued after becoming trapped in a collapsed tunnel near the Vatican, suspected of being part of a gang burrowing its way to a nearby bank.

Firefighters spent eight hours digging him out from under a road in the west of Rome, before he was finally freed on Thursday evening and taken to hospital.

“Two people from Naples were arrested for resisting a public official and two, from Rome, for damage” to public property, a police spokesman told AFP.

The rescued man, one of the two Romans, remains in hospital, he said without giving an update on his condition.

“We are still investigating, we do not exclude that they are thieves, it is one of the theories,” he said.

For Italian newspapers, however, the motive was clear, with reports noting the tunnel was found near a bank ahead of the August 15th long weekend, when residents traditionally head out of town and much of Rome is left empty.

“The hole gang,” headlined newspapers Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, while La Stampa said: “They dig a tunnel to rob a bank, and one of them is buried underground.”

Other reports referred to the suspected burglar as l’uomo-talpa, or ‘mole man’.

An AFP reporter at the scene on Thursday saw the man brought out alive on a stretcher, after a day-long operation involving dozens of emergency service workers using mechanical diggers.

The tunnel began underneath an empty shop that had recently been rented.

“We all thought that the people there were renovating the place. So we had no suspicions and we did not hear noises either,” a resident, Michele, who lives in the same building told AFP.

SHOW COMMENTS