The secret meeting of Mossad and Italian intelligence agents on an Italian boat that capsized last week was part of an operation to thwart Iran’s efforts to obtain advanced unconventional weapons, the Italian La Reppublica newspaper reported on Friday.
The agents were posing as tourists celebrating a birthday aboard a boat, which they boarded in Slovenia and then sailed to Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. The party/meeting ended in tragedy when the boat capsized amid stormy weather, leading to the death of four people, including a retired Israeli Mossad agent, two Italian intelligence agents, and the Russian wife of the captain.
The La Repubblica report followed a report earlier in the week by the Corriere della Sera news site that the Italian and Israeli agents were coordinating the surveillance of Russian oligarchs who transferred their money to luxury hotels on Lake Maggiore, conveniently located between northern Italy and Switzerland, where oligarchs can bypass international sanctions on Russia. The oligarchs are reportedly involved in the transfer of Iranian kamikaze drones to Moscow to be used in the war against Ukraine.
The Russian wife of the captain, Anna Bozhkova, who lost her life in the accident, has a residency permit to live in Italy indefinitely, apparently to serve as a translator in monitoring the Russian oligarchs’ dealings with Iran.
A criminal investigation has been launched against the captain Claudio Carminati, who is suspected of negligent homicide as the boat was only licensed to carry 15 passengers and there were 23 aboard at the time of the accident.
Dr. Carlo Nocerino, the Italian official heading the investigation into the incident, told Israel’s Kan News that the investigation is not focused on the identities or activities of the victims. “We’re investigating two crimes,” he said. “Causing an accident through negligence and causing death through negligence. That the Israelis involved were Mossad agents is not important to us.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)