Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) October 01, 2009 -- Italian authorities are facing claims that the Calabrian mafia, in order to bypass environmental laws, deliberately sunk a ship containing toxic waste, only 20 miles off the south west coast of Italy.
From the Calabria-based 'ndrangheta crime syndicate, Francesco Fonti, has claimed the mob muscled in on the lucrative business of radioactive waste disposal and illegally sank "hundreds" of barrels of toxic waste.
In order to verify the report, a robot submarine has been sent to the area. Foggy photos reveal the vessel intact and alongside it are a number of yellow barrels, with labels declaring the contents are toxic. TV images showed at least one barrel had fallen from the damaged hull and lay empty on the seabed. Head of Calabria's environment agency, Silvestro Greco, said. "This is an issue for the whole international community".
Fonti alleges mobsters made millions of dollars by illegally dumping radioactive and other toxic wastes for northern Italian businesses. Fonti says the ship was carrying 120 barrels of radioactive waste and that explosives were used to sink it off the Calabrian coast in 1992. He said he was also involved in the sinking of three vessels. Fonti is currently under state protection.
If the cargo proves to be toxic waste, the hunt will be on for another 31 'poison' ships, believed have been sunk by the mafia in the 1980s and 1990s. Greenpeace and the Italian environmental group Lega Ambiente, have been compiling lists of ships that have disappeared off Italy and Greece. A Greenpeace official, Alessandro Gianni, told Associated Press Television News, that as early as the '90s, his organization tried to learn the fate of ships that might have been involved in toxic dumping.
The lethal problem of toxic waste has long been a concern of modern civilization. However, both the production and disposal of toxic waste has become big business and vested interests believe that it should continue that way. Even household waste can contain large amounts of toxic chemicals.
It is believed that many third world countries accept large volumes of hazardous waste for disposal, in return for sizable financial compensation. It is also thought that toxic waste has been dumped illegally on international shores, where environmental regulation and controls are not as stringent.
In America alone, it is reported that one ton of hazardous waste is created per person per year, or approximately 260 million tons annually. 90% of the time, the disposal companies illegally dump the waste and get away with it.
The United Kingdom produces about two million tonnes of the most hazardous type of waste annually. About half of this was simply dumped into landfill sites during 93/94. ### Dr Wendy Stenberg-Tendys and her husband are CEO's of YouMe Support Foundation ([http://youmesupport.org]) provide high school education grants for children who are without hope. You can help in this really great project by taking a few minutes to check it the Tropical Island Treasure Chest at Win a Resort ([http://winaresort.com]) It really will change your life. Feel free to contact Wendy on firstname.lastname@example.org