Italian Forces Board Cargo Ship After Crew Threatened By Stowaways

A Turkey-based cargo vessel that the Italian Special Forces boarded after the crew members detected a group of unidentified individuals onboard set sail from the waters off Naples, a ship tracking website reflected, police continued investigating the incident.

Guido Crosetto, Italy’s Defense Minister, mentioned on Friday that the operation carried out by the Special Forces was launched owing to the presence of approximately 15 migrants on the vessel.

A transport ministry statement from Turkey mentioned that the roll-on-roll-off vessel of Galata Seaways had been sailing to Sete, France, from Turkey’s port of Yalova. The crew members realized unidentified individuals were also on the vessel late on Friday morning.


Italian forces secure a Turkish ship attacked by armed stowaways. Source: The Independent / YouTube.

The crew members locked themselves in the vessel’s engine room and alerted relevant maritime authorities based in Turkey, who contacted France and Italy.

The captain informed the Italian police that he had sent out the alarm after he saw two individuals carrying knives, per local media.

The Ansa news agency told the migrants – Iraqis, Syrians, and Iranians – included one pregnant woman, and three were charged over the weapons.

It said the two women were rushed to a hospital while the remaining were shifted to a migrant reception centre.

Everything had ended well, Crosetto posted on Saturday on Twitter, congratulating the police and the Special Forces for the operation.

Crosetto mentioned on Friday that the migrants had tried taking control of the boat. However, local media said none had been charged as investigations continue.

References: Reuters, Business Insider 

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