Francesco Fonti: il pentito su navi dei veleni

(parla il pentito che ha indicato le navi con rifiuti tossici)
(“trattavo con Ciriaco De Mita il prezzo del traffico dei rifiuti” 2:40)
(“La Somalia è la pattumiera” riferiva De Michelis/Craxi” 3:50)

La notizia che non c’è: Italian police close in on ‘toxic’ shipwreck [dal finacial times]
Wed, 21 Oct 2009 12:23:06 GMT
it.cultura.filosofia, it.politica,

cit on

Italian police close in on ‘toxic’ shipwreck

By Guy Dinmore and Eleonora de Sabata in Rome and in Reggio Calabria

Published: October 20 2009 22:05 | Last updated: October 20 2009 22:05

A mission was launched on Tuesday off the Italian coast to investigate
what anti-Mafia investigators have long suspected was a conspiracy
between organised crime, industrialists and government agencies to dump
nuclear and other toxic waste in the Mediterranean and off Africa.

An Italian marine survey ship under police protection started tests 12
miles off Calabria’s coast on the wreck of a cargo ship 500 metres

According to Francesco Fonti, a Mafia turncoat, the ship was scuttled in
1992 carrying 120 barrels of toxic materials – much of it possibly
radioactive. The ship, identified by Mr Fonti as the Cunski, is one of
three vessels carrying toxic cargoes he says he sank as a service
provided by the ’Ndrangheta, the Calabrian Mafia.

Over two decades Italian prosecutors have looked into more than 30 such
suspicious deep-water sinkings. They suspect that Italian and foreign
industrialists have acted in league with the Mafia, and possibly
government agencies, to use the Mediterranean as a dumping ground.
Vessels sank in fair weather had suspicious cargo, sent no mayday or the
crew vanished. None had been located, until now.

Fishermen and political leaders in Calabria, alarmed at the possible
environmental disaster, are protesting. Local mayors rallied in Rome on
Tuesday to press the government to act quickly. Brussels has also added
its voice. A letter sent last month by Stavros Dimas, European
environment commissioner, seeking clarification from Italy, has so far
gone unanswered.
Turncoat claims expertise in scuttling vessels – Oct-20
South furious at Rome’s slow response – Oct-20
Timeline: A catalogue of suspicion – Oct-20

The discovery of nuclear waste on the Cunski or other ships could raise
uncomfortable issues for Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right government,
which is relaunching Italy’s nuclear power industry after a 22-year

Now, the marine survey ship Mare Oceano is to use sonars to map and
hopefully identify the ship, and test for radioactivity, before efforts
are made to salvage the barrels. An Italian coastguard vessel has also
searched for another wreck of a ship that Mr Fonti claims was scuttled
off the central port of Livorno with toxic waste on board.

The Mafia’s involvement in illegal waste disposal on land, working for
industrialists and local officials, is well documented.

The Mafia informant’s claims about involvement in sea dumping first made
headlines in 2005, but progress was slow in pursuing them. Last month an
expedition located what appears to be the Cunski, using Mr Fonti’s

Over the years, magistrates have been aided by lists of suspicious
sinkings provided by Lloyd’s of London in connection with suspect
insurance claims, as well as persistent probing by environmental groups.

Francesco Neri, a Calabrian prosecutor who began investigating the
“poison ships” mystery in the 1990s, says Mr Fonti has confirmed his

“It was like investigating a murder without having the corpse,” he says,
referring to their failure to pinpoint the missing ships, starting with
the Rigel, which a court ruled was scuttled in 1987. Mr Neri recalls
years of digging, threats, lack of funding and the strange death of his
main investigator – one of several deaths said to be linked to the

In December 1995, the investigator, Natale de Grazia, a young coastguard
captain, died suddenly on a mission to the port of La Spezia. The
official cause of death was heart attack, but colleagues suspect that he
was poisoned.

Following the apparent find of the Cunski, a new inquiry has been
launched by Calabria’s anti-Mafia directorate. (The exact identity of
the ship is unclear – some disputed records show a ship named Cunski was
scrapped years later.)

Attention is also being refocused on the case of a ship called Rosso
which ran aground in rough weather near Amantea in Calabria in 1990,
after what officials claimed was a botched attempt to scuttle it. Its
cargo was removed and disposed of on land. Years later, doctors spotted
a high incidence of local cancers.

Toxic contaminants and traces of radioactive caesium 137 were found in a
nearby quarry used as an illegal dump. Investigating magistrates suspect
a link with the Rosso.

Massimo Scalia, professor of physics at Rome’s La Sapienza university
who led a parliamentary commission on illegal dumping in the 1990s,
thinks the oceans were a natural extension for the Mafia.

“I’m sure they disposed of toxic and radioactive waste by sinking these
ships,” he said. “But so far it is a theory – a theory in which I
believe strongly but couldn’t find proof. That’s what I have been asking
all these years: let’s find a ship and see what it carried.”

The commission and investigators repeatedly appealed for more government
funding, but earlier inquiries were stopped.

Claims by Mr Fonti of involvement of Italian and foreign intelligence
agencies and government officials in the trade of toxic and radioactive
products have fuelled suspicions that some institutions may not have
wanted to shed light on what lies on the seabed.

Investigators and parliamentarians have raised worrying questions about
the source of the suspected nuclear material and who ordered its

In 2005, Mr Fonti told L’Espresso magazine that the Cunski carried
radioactive waste from Norway. Ships, he said, were also sunk off Kenya,
Somalia and west Africa. He also spoke of disposing waste for Italian,
German, Swiss and Russian chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

Italian authorities have rejected his claim to have disposed of 40 lorry
loads of material delivered to him at the Rotondella facility run by
Enea, Italy’s nuclear authority.

Four years ago, Nicola Maria Pace, a prosecutor, told parliamentarians
of three accidents involving nuclear waste stored at Rotondella, the
last in 1994. He spoke of Italy’s “total submission” to US control over
nuclear materials at Rotondella from 1954 to the 1970s, and how Iraqi
scientists trained at Rotondella to use Italy’s Cirene reactors, which
Iraq had sought to acquire in the 1980s.

In 2007, eight former senior Enea officials were placed under
investigation over the handling of nuclear material. Italian media
reported that the case was recently dropped.

More broadly, the extent to which a foreign hand is suspected is hard to
gauge. Several sessions of the parliamentary waste commission were held
in private for reasons of secrecy. Its public conclusions noted
“interferences and threats” against investigators, and were critical of
Enea’s management of nuclear waste.

The commission’s 1995 report spoke of the “possible existence of
national and international trafficking in radioactive waste, managed by
business and criminal lobbies, which are believed to operate also with
the approval of institutional subjects belonging to countries and
governments of the [European Union] and outside the EU”.

Prof Scalia is not alone in noting that Italy lacks a coherent nuclear
waste policy and still has old waste held in “temporary” sites, some of
it brought from the US decades ago.

The environment ministry and Enea did not respond to questions for this
article. Statements by Stefania Prestigiacomo, the environment minister,
have created confusion. First, the initial plans to use the ministry’s
research vessel to survey the wreck was ditched. Then, parliament was
told that a ship provided by Eni, the state-controlled energy group, was
on its way from Cyprus.

Finally, the ministry said last Friday that the Mare Oceano, provided by
Geolab, a Naples-based marine survey company, would do the work instead,
directed by anti-Mafia investigators.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009. You may share using our
article tools. Please don’t cut articles from and redistribute by
email or post to the web.

cit off


1) Navi affondate con rifiuti tossici e radioattivi (scorie nucleari)

2) La zona è al largo della Calabria, ma non solo

3) UE chiede quale sia il piano dell’Italia per sanare la situazione, ma
finora non ha avuto risposta.

I quotidiani italiani:

Saluti felicità,


IdV Ciampino Blog


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