Boxes with 8 guns seized from Italian ship

After a 12-hour search on Italian cargo ship Enrica Lexie, the Kerala Police team returned on  Sunday with four suitcases that contained eight guns, an officer said.

Giampaolo Cutillo, Consul General of Italy in Mumbai (front) with unidentified Italian investigators disembark from the Enrica Lexie anchored at Kochi port on Sunday. PTI

“The search and seizure operation is now over and we have got what we needed,” Kerala police investigating team leader M R Ajith Kumar told reporters.

The Kerala Police team investigating the shooting of two Indian fishermen by marine guards aboard the Italian vessel, took 12 hours to complete the search of the vessel.

Two separate teams of Indian and Italian experts on Saturday began the search of the Italian ship to examine the weapons used by the security guards to shoot two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15. The boxes retrieved during the search would be taken to the Kollam court on Monday for forensic examination.

According to Kumar, the Italian delegation currently in the state has fully cooperated with the ongoing inquiry.

A court in Kollam on Thursday extended the police custody of Italian Marines Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, after police sought more time for interrogation. The next hearing on the custody will be on February 28. The High Court will also decide if the vessel should be in the custody of the Kerala Police or not.

The court has asked the owners of Enrica Lexie to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 50 lakh, after the owners of the ill-fated boat St Antony, on which the two Indian fishermen were killed, demanded a combined compensation of Rs 3 crore.

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