Genova - The ship’s course, as recorded in the logbook aboard the container vessel seized by Italy’s Finance Police in the port of Gioia Tauro, was pretty accurate. From Calabria, in a matter of a few hours, the ship carrying the Tramadol cargo, known also as “the fighter drug”, would have sailed straight to Genoa. Then, from Liguria to Libya, where the twenty-four million tablets were destined to charge up ISIS guerillas. It was precisely at Genoa, that the fight was initially brought on against this India-produced opiate that was intended to enrich the coffers of ISIS.
Last May, in fact, anti-terrorism public prosecutor Federico Manotti had signed the seizure order for a load of 40 million tablets packed in the containers of three ships: the “Jolly Cobalto” of the Messina Line, the “Cerinthus” and the “Gloria”, both of the firm Hapag Lloyd. That’s where it all started.
On the heels of that investigation, thanks to the collaboration of agents from the US Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), a major investigation was mounted, that, eventually, led to seizures in several Mediterranean ports over the past months. Sea trafficking activities that, according to investigators, are managed directly by the Caliphate, with the aim of financing terrorist activities worldwide.In Genoa, the raid by law enforcement authorities - conducted in conjunction by the Finance Police and the Customs Agency - prevented close to 75 million euros from going into ISIS’s coffers, and the one carried out in the past few hours in the port of Gioia Tauro, another forty million.
This results, as the Genoa Police explained on more than one occasion these past months, from the fact that ISIS buys these pills in India for about seven cents apiece, and then resells them to the militias at two euro each. It’s a huge mark-up. “The main issue,” explained the head of Genoa’s Police, Franco Cozzi, “is not just stopping the spread of drugs, but preventing its financing of terrorism.”