Trucks ‘ship toxic cargoes’ from Italy

The federation of Greek truckers (OFAE) has complained that ferries serving Adriatic Sea routes frequently carry toxic chemicals illegally.

According to OFAE, Greek ferries returning from Italian ports are often loaded with chemicals by truck drivers who do not declare the substances in a bid to avoid the additional charges foreseen for their transport. Marine law dictates that ferries loaded with toxic chemicals must bear a special symbol and must be parked in a specific part of the ship for safety. But, according to OFAE president Apostolos Kenanidis, random inspections carried out on ferries by federation officials revealed that many had been loaded with chemicals which in turn had been concealed using other cargo. “There was a large number of them,” Kenanidis said, noting that Igoumenitsa port authorities had been briefed.

Referring to the disastrous fire that broke out on the Greek-owned Norman Atlantic last month, leading to the deaths of at least nine people, Kenanidis claimed that the toll would have been higher if the vessel had been en route to Greece from Italy, rather than vice versa, suggesting that chemicals were likely to have been on board.