Search of Italian vessel completed; weapons seized

A Special Investigation Team seized several weapons from the Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie during search operation.

Updated: Feb 26, 2012, 08:39 AM IST

Kochi: A Special Investigation Team of Kerala police on Saturday sized four boxes of materials from the Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie to trace the weapons used
by two marines, who allegedly shot dead two Indian fishermen.

The boxes containing guns and various documents have been sealed and would be shifted to harbour police station later today, Kochi commissioner MR Ajith Kumar, who is heading the SIT, said after nearly 14 hours search ended at 2 am.
The boxes would be produced before Kollam Court tomorrow. Asked about the details of the seized materials, he said "we got whatever we needed" and refused to give further
information.

"How long the investigation will take and what all were
seized we cannot tell," he said, adding the vessel will be
allowed to leave Kochi only after the investigations are over.

The Italian authorities extended full co-operation, he
said.

The weapons used by the six marine security personnel on
board would be sent to the Thiruvananthapuram forensic
laboratory, the Kochi commissioner said earlier.

The search was conducted in the presence of a 10-member
Italian delegation, including Consul General Giampaolo
Cuttillo and two ballistic experts Major Flebus Luca and Major
Fratini Paolo.

The SIT of Kerala police began the search around noon
yesterday with forensic and fingerprint experts also on board
the vessel berthed here. The two arrested marines -- Latore
Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone have been charged with
murder in connection with the killing of the Indian fishermen
on February 15.

Representatives of Indian Navy, Coast Guard, the Italian
Consul General defence attache were also were present during
the search.

PTI