SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Dogs used as drug mules to Italy

South American drug gangs in Milan have been using dogs to smuggle cocaine from Mexico to Italy, the police said on Tuesday after an operation that found at least 48 dogs had been killed to retrieve the drugs.

Dogs used as drug mules to Italy
The dogs were dismembered by drug traffickers. Photo: Ann Gordon/Flickr

The animals were forced to swallow plastic packets containing the drug before being sent to Italy on flights that usually landed at Linate airport in Milan.

The packages were wrapped in black vinyl tape to shield them from X-ray checks at the airports.

The drug traffickers then dismembered the dogs.

A court on Tuesday ordered that 49 people arrested in the operation to face trial under a fast-track procedure, a police spokesman in Milan told AFP.

They are all alleged members of South American "pandillas" ("drug rings") that used the dogs.

There were outraged reactions from Italian associations for the defence of animals that expressed their support for police involved in the operation.

This cruel smuggling method often ends up killing the dogs before they get to their destination as even a minimal leak of the cocaine can be fatal to the animals.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

READ ALSO

Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

SHOW COMMENTS