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Kiribati seafarers arrested in Italy for drug-smuggling charges

The South Pacific Marine Office (SMPO) in Betio has confirmed the detention of nine I-Kiribati seafarers in Italy for drug smuggling charges.

A report from SPMS says the nine were arrested from their ship Rio de Janeiro after authorities in Italy found a 385 kilogram of cocaine on October 19 thrown overboard from the ship, 16 miles from the port of Gioia Tauro

The drugs were found in the waters inside 17 waterproof bags and attached to a floating device.

Of the 12 I-Kiribati crew aboard Rio de Janeiro, nine of them have been arrested and detained in connection with drug smuggling and three have been released.

Meanwhile, the SPMS Headquarters in Germany has confirmed that all I-Kiribati crew of the vessel will now be replaced by Filipino crew.....

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