A sailing vessel, flying the flag of the United States of America, was intercepted by an ATR42-MP aircraft of the Guardia di Finanza employed in surveillance and patrolling activities in the western Mediterranean.
After the sighting, the sailboat was monitored, for about 12 hours, without interruption, by the Multirole Patrol Vessel P02 “Monte Cimone”.
After obtaining the necessary clearance from the flag State of the vessel to submit it to a police check, the boarding team of the Multirole Patrol vessel proceeded to access and stop the vessel.
On board, there were 3 crew members, of Bulgarian nationality, and a large quantity of hashish was found.
The ship was taken to the port of Palermo to continue the judicial police activity by the soldiers of the Investigation Group on Organized Crime (GICO) of the local Economic and Financial Police Unit and the Palermo Naval Station.
The operation ended with the arrest of the 3 crew members and the seizure of the boat used for illicit trafficking, together with the precious cargo of about 6 tons of hashish which, placed on the clandestine market, would have yielded about 13 million. of Euro.