Narcoskipper brought tons of drugs from Morocco to Italy by boat. Busted!

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The phenomenon of “narcoskippers,” or those who decide to use boats (sail and motor) for drug trafficking (we told you about it HERE), shows no signs of abating.

Most recently, the case of the gang of six drug traffickers who imported high-quality hashish by boat from Morocco to the French Riviera and then supplied the market in central and northern Italy. They were all arrested on charges of importing more than 1,100 kilograms of smoke and more than half a kilogram of cocaine. Among those arrested were two prominent convicted traffickers, Francesco Massimiliano Cauchi and Marco Bruno Bernini.

HOW WERE THEY CAUGHT? GALOOT WAS A GARMIN RADAR

It all started with the discovery, in a garage on Via Padova in Milan, of a large consignment of hashish (11 million euros in value) and coke crammed into a double wall in September 2018.

But there is another strange detail. The discovery of a Garmin boat radar, still new and packed. Three people are identified on that occasion, including one Silvestro Giannini, whose name is linked to a report by the Savona Carabinieri.

He is the registered owner of the Elizabeth G, a Dutch-flagged boat docked at the Marina di Varazze (Savona), which has already been kept under surveillance by Carabinieri for its suspicious sailings, thanks to a GPS.

One trip, above all, is being closely monitored: the one that left in July 2018 from Varazze. Elizabeth G arrives in Almerimar, southern Spain, after some stops on the French coast. Then off to Morocco, with a stop on the high seas, not far from Gibraltar.

According to the judges, this is when the transshipment of drugs (which were crammed into a craft compartment aboard the boat) took place. The delivery, once the boat returned to Italian waters, was carried out again on the high seas, with transshipment to a dinghy helmed by gang member Antonino Capone.

The car in which the dinghy had been driven to the Port of Rapallo (from where it had sailed to the Elizabeth G) was registered to Melissa Mirabella, companion of the aforementioned Cauchi.

Cauchi and Bernini, we said, are two repeat narcoskippers. They had already set up drug trafficking by boat, from Morocco to Italy, from 2012 to 2014: this latest criminal enterprise was nothing more than a repetition of a tried-and-true pattern, carried on with a new gang.

*Joking cover image to lighten a phenomenon that is actually very serious. It is the famous drug trafficker Pablo Escobar’s face that we “affixed” to one of the photos from the film “En Solitaire,” starring Francois Cluzet as an ocean sailor.

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