Start Europe The Italian judicial authorities ordered the confiscation of the NGO ship „Aquarius“...

The Italian judicial authorities ordered the confiscation of the NGO ship „Aquarius“ and started investigations against the aid organization „MSF“


This was reported by the Italian news agency ANSA on Tuesday. The prosecutor of Catania found that in 44 cases 24 tonnes of waste that could cause infection had been illegally disposed of in Italy. The garbage was transported between January 2017 and May 2018 by the „Aquarius“, as well as by the ship „Vos Prudence“.

Investigations were taken against some MSF members. The „Aquarius“, operated jointly by Doctors Without Borders and „SOS Mediterranee“, is currently located in the port of Marseille.

Clothes worn by migrants

According to the accusation, the ship’s staff disposed of rubbish in Italian ports as harmless garbage, even though it was a dangerous rubbish because of the risk of infection. The staff also produced documents that indicated that it was non-hazardous waste.

It was mainly about clothing that was worn by migrants. The non-governmental organization had thus saved € 460,000, which would have cost the legal disposal of hazardous waste. The 460,000 euros are to be confiscated from NGO accounts, the judicial authorities decided.

Rome wants to pull Aquarius from traffic for a long time

Rome has long been trying to pull the migrants rescue ship out of circulation. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who denied NGO vessels access to Italian ports, welcomed the ordered confiscation of the „Aquarius“.

„We did well to stop the NGO ships. We have stopped not only illegal human trafficking but also garbage trading, „said Salvini. The leader of the right-wing Lega has been following a zero-tolerance policy since the start of the new government in Rome in June against migrants attempting to illegally reach Italy’s coasts.