Specifically, the investigation is said to be looking into whether Mediterranea took money from Maersk Tankers to take over the migrants rescued at sea by the company’s tanker.
The NGO said on Monday that Ragusa’s public prosecutor’s office executed search warrants throughout Italy targeting homes of the organization’s members, its social centers, and the ship Mare Jonio.
The NGO is allegedly being suspected of profit-making schemes. However, the organization said the investigation and related raids were part of a smear campaign directed against rescuing migrants at sea and bringing them to the EU.
“The searches are meant to find “evidence” because the charges, despite thousands of hours of phone taps and surveillance, are, in reality, founded on speculation,” Mediterranea said.
To remind, back in September 2020, the NGO took over rescued migrants from Maersk Etienne, a tanker owned and operated by Danish Maersk Tankers, ending a 38-day ordeal.
The crew of the Maersk Etienne rescued 27 persons who were in distress at sea at the request of Maltese authorities on August 5th, 2020….reports World Maritime News.