Tuesday 25 September 2018

Shipment of Mafia-owned cocaine hidden aboard doomed Costa Concordia cruise liner

The stricken Costa Concordia
The stricken Costa Concordia
Costa Concordia's captain Francesco Schettino
Divers of the Nucleo Operatori Subacquei Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) conduct a search operation onboard the Costa Concordia on September 24, 2013 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
GIGLIO PORTO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 24: Firefighters conduct a search operation onboard the Costa Concordia on September 24, 2013 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
Divers of the Nucleo Operatori Subacquei Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) conduct a search operation onboard the Costa Concordia on September 24, 2013 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
Firefighters conduct a search operation onboard the Costa Concordia on September 24, 2013 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
A Titan worker looks at the stricken ship while firefighters conduct a search operation onboard the Costa Concordia on September 24, 2013 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
Divers of the Nucleo Operatori Subacquei Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) conduct a search operation onboard the Costa Concordia on September 24, 2013 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
A boy prepares to snorkel in front of the wreckage of capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia. An Italian prosecutor has asked a court to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people
Captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner Francesco Schettino stands in court during his trial in Grosseto. An Italian prosecutor has asked the court to sentence Schettino to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people
Divers of the Nucleo Operatori Subacquei Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) conduct a search operation onboard the Costa Concordia on September 24, 2013 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
A detail of the ship straightened Costa Concordia is seen on September 24, 2013 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Photo by Laura Lezza/Getty Images)

Michael Day

The doomed Costa Concordia was carrying a huge shipment of Mafia-owned cocaine when it set off on its final voyage, investigators have said.

’Ndrangheta, the feared Calabrian crime syndicate, had its drugs hidden aboard the huge cruise ship that partially capsized in January 2012 with the loss of 32 lives, phone and tape recordings of gang members have revealed.

“The same ship that made us a laughing stock around the world, took the piss out of us, too,” ’Ndrangheta boss Michele Rossi is heard saying to an associate, Massimo Tiralongo, according to police officers investigating the organisation’s vast cocaine-trafficking operation.

In addition to vessels operated by Costa Cruises, ’Ndrangheta also placed its drugs on ships owned by MSC and Norwegian Cruise Lines, which travel between Europe, North America and the Caribbean, according to details of the criminal investigation revealed in La Repubblica.

Officers from the organised crime investigation group in Florence say that the drugs on the Concordia, which have not been found, were stowed aboard without the knowledge of senior officers or senior company officials, but almost certainly with the complicity of one or more crew members.

The Concordia, with more than 4,000 passengers and crew aboard, partially capsized on the night of 13 January 2012, close to the island of Giglio, after the captain performed a risky manoeuvre which caused it to crash into rocks near the shore, tearing a huge hole in its side.

In February this year, Francesco Schettino, the Concordia’s captain, was found guilty of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship before his passengers. He was given a 16-year jail sentence.

The Concordia was towed to Genoa in July last year to be scrapped in a complex, €100m operation, which is expected to last nearly two years.

(Independent.co.uk)

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News