Search of Italian ship completed, weapons seized

Kochi: A Special Investigation Team of Kerala police today 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 M R Ajith Kumar, who is heading the SIT, said after nearly 14 hours search ended at 2am.

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.