Brazil seizes 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on Italian ship reportedly attacked by pirates

Brazilian authorities said on Monday August 13th that they seized 1.32 metric tonnes (2,910 pounds) of cocaine aboard an Italian-flagged ship in Brazil's main port of Santos, near Sao Paulo.

Brazil seizes 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on Italian ship reportedly attacked by pirates

“The drugs were divided into 1,202 tablets distributed in 41 sacks” in two containers on the Grande Francia ship, which had arrived from Argentina, the customs department said.

According to G1 news site, the ship was attacked by pirates on Sunday. However it was unclear whether the incident was connected to the drugs discovery.

According to O Globo site, more than 1,322 kilograms of cocaine were seized, the second large drugs bust at the port in a week, hidden in 41 sacks in two shipping containers. Four armed men boarded the boat 15-kilometres off the coastline for two hours on the morning of Sunday August 12th, according to the Brazilian media outlet's report, leading to speculation that the ship had been targeted by pirates. 

The federal police in Santos said that a pirate incident had occurred but targeting a different vessel.

“We are working on the case,” the police said in a statement. The customs service said that so far this year it has intercepted 13,518 kilos of drugs (29,802 pounds) in 27 operations at Santos port, the biggest in Latin America. This is more than the total seized in 2017.

READ MORE: Alleged drug trafficker arrested in Mexico over disappearance of three Italians


Bankers acquitted in Italy over derivatives scandal

An Italian appeals court on Friday acquitted 13 former top officials from Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS), Deutsche Bank, and Nomura over a long-running derivatives scandal.

Bankers acquitted in Italy over derivatives scandal
“Justice has been served. I’ve always believed in my clients’ innocence,” Giuseppe Iannaccone, lawyer for the Deutsche defendants, told AFP.
The Milan court overturned the 2019 convictions for allegedly helping Monte dei Paschi, the oldest bank in the world, hide hundreds of millions of euros in losses between 2008 and 2012, finding no crime had been committed.
The scandal, concerning false accounting, share manipulation, and obstructing regulators from Consob, Italy’s stock exchange watchdog, rocked BMPS, which has long been deemed a weak link in Italy’s banking system.
Prosecutors claimed derivatives trades called Santorini and Alexandria were used, in collusion with Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Japan’s Nomura, to hide losses equivalent to two billion euros ($2.2 billion).
The bankers, including former BMPS chairman Giuseppe Mussari and ex-chief executive Antonio Vigni, six former employees of Deutsche Bank and two of Nomura, were sentenced to up to seven years jail in the original trial.
The Milan court on Friday also ordered the release of about 150 million euros in seized assets from Deutsche Bank and Nomura, according to Italy’s Sole 24 Ore financial daily.
Deutsche Bank said it welcomed the verdict, while Nomura told AFP it was “pleased”.
Founded in Siena in 1472, BMPS has been in deep trouble since the eurozone debt crisis and is now majority-owned by the Italian state following a 2017 bailout.
Earlier Friday it reported a first quarter profit of 9.7 million euros, down 92 percent from the same period in 2021.