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Genoa: two suspects for the “explosive” container

Genova - Two people have been added to the list of suspects held by substitute prosecutor Fabrizio Givri after a container containing seven tonnes of potentially explosive substances were discovered in the port of Pra’

Genova - Two people have been added to the list of suspects held by substitute prosecutor Fabrizio Givri after a container containing seven tonnes of potentially explosive substances were discovered in the port of Pra’.

The suspects are a representative of the company to which the material was destined, a company in the province of Milan that produces medicines, and a representative of the Chinese company based in Rome that imports the products. The alleged crimes are the illegal movement of explosives and attacking the security of transport. The officers of the border police, together with their colleagues from the DIGOS [i.e. Italian Politic Police], are investigating the case. The turning point in the investigation came in the last few days, after the investigators heard from the Milanese company’s top management. They confirmed that the two substances in the container were indeed headed for their own factory. And that they use those materials to make certain medication. But they had no idea about the explosion risk reported by the police bomb squad. Because, according to the bomb squad, the greatest danger would be from contact between the transported ingredients.

In particular, the policemen and fire-fighters verified that a tonne of tetrabutylammonium fluoride trihydrate was crammed inside the container mixed with Thf - a highly flammable and corrosive substance - placed in direct contact with six tonnes of Tetrazol-1 Acetic Acid contained in 265 drums, “an explosive detonating substance of moderate instability”, the policemen determined. That container had been isolated in the bunker area inside the sixth module of the port of Pra’, and the harbourmaster’s office had established a ban on boats passing near the area. Once the fire brigade removed one of the two substances, thus preventing contact, the ban was lifted. The greatest danger would have been during the long journey from Singapore to Genoa. As far as the importing company is concerned, the investigators are interested in the specifications with which the cargo was authorised to travel by ship. According to the Customs Agency’s verification, reference was made to a “corrosive and flammable substance.” But there was no indication of explosion risk. Finally, the container was not equipped for this type of transport. All these details need to be clarified. In the next few days it is possible that the public prosecutor will allow the release of the container, once it is determined the best way to remove the drums remaining inside it.

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