ITALY NEWS

Environmental crime

Ex-mobster claims toxic' ships dumped in Calabria and Tuscany
(issue no. 109/2009 / October 8, 2009)

Through the testimony of a former mafioso, authorities have discovered a sunken ship allegedly carrying tonnes of highly toxic waste, just 12 miles off the coast of Calabria. According to the informant, Francesco Fonti, the ship was deliberately sunk in the Tyrrhenian Sea in 1992 by members of the ‘Ndrangheta mob clan.

 

Fonti told police he was personally involved in the sinking of three ‘toxic' ships, and he said he knew of at least 30 more vessels sunk by the mafia in Italian waters in order to quickly dispose of the toxic waste, which allegedly came from Italian and European pharmaceutical companies. Fonti said the ‘Ndrangheta was paid between 1.5 to 15 million euro to dispose of the radioactive material.

 

Fonti said that at least one boat was also sunk off the coast of Livorno. Moreover, the local daily Il Tirreno reports that fishermen in the area have brought up ‘containers carrying an oily substance' in their nets.

President of the Tuscan region, Claudio Martini, is urging immediate action by officials in Rome to verify the existence of any toxic waste at the bottom of the sea off the Tuscan coast.

 

Meanwhile, Neapolitan residents have taken steps to reduce environmental crime in Naples by launching ‘ecological' vigilante groups, called Decoràonde, to curb increasing urban blight and avert trash crises in the future.

 

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