The Ship That Stopped 7,000 Migrants, and Smuggled 700,000 Cigarettes –

“We repaired the Libyans’ weapons regardless of the embargo,” talked about one engineer from the Caprera, in a cellphone identify tapped by the police. “If this will get out, it’s a multitude.”

The Italian Navy declined to comment — on each this or each different facet of the state of affairs.

The smuggling operation on the Caprera took type throughout the spring of 2018, when sailors from the engineering division of the ship slowly stuffed a workshop with sacks of cigarettes. The contraband, bought in Libya, {may} very effectively be purchased in Italy for a giant markup by skirting extreme import duties.

A key piece of proof for investigators are images from a farewell social gathering in Might for Marco Corbisiero, the ship’s chief engineer, who accomplished his deployment aboard the Caprera sooner than the rest of the crew. Photos shared on the ship’s WhatsApp group confirmed a grinning Mr. Corbisiero sitting sooner than a giant chocolate cake baked in his honor.

Behind him have been plenty of sacks of contraband cigarettes.

Textual content material messages and transcripts of cellphone calls tapped by the police later that 12 months level out that Mr. Corbisiero, now 44, was a key decide throughout the smuggling plan, prosecutors say. Mr. Corbisiero is among the many 5 sailors on trial in Brindisi; his lawyer, Fabrizio Lamanna, talked about his shopper had been made a scapegoat throughout the case.

Since late 2017, monetary establishment info confirmed that he obtained tens of 1000’s of {{dollars}} from personal individuals, along with Italian sailors, funds that investigators think about have been advance prices for contraband cigarettes. Mr. Corbisiero would have stood to earn nearly $120,000 from selling the cigarettes — about $90,000 better than they worth to buy in Libya.

Practically all of cigarettes have been loaded onto the Caprera after Mr. Corbisiero had left the boat. Sooner than his departure, crew members {may} merely switch throughout the workshop the place the cigarettes have been hidden. By the purpose the Caprera arrived in Brindisi, the room was so crammed with cigarette sacks that the regulation enforcement officers who seized the ship {may} barely enter it.

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