Italy seizes 100 tonnes of diesel on ship sailing from Libya

ROME (Reuters) - Italian police said on Saturday they had seized more than 100 tonnes of contraband diesel from a ship which set sail from Libya and arrested the captain for smuggling and money-laundering.

The ship, which was flying a Togolese flag, carried the fuel in several hidden cisterns, together with some 11 tonnes of contraband cigarettes, a statement from finance police in the Sicilian town of Syracuse said.

The ship’s captain, a 25-year-old Indonesian has been put under house arrest. The other four crew members, also from Indonesia, were not arrested.

The ship was intercepted in Sicilian waters on Oct. 26 and prosecutors in Syracuse are still investigating exactly where the fuel was taken from and where it was intended to be sold, the statement said.

Last month Sicilian police arrested six people, including a suspected mobster, and issued warrants for three others for running a Libyan fuel-smuggling ring in which at least 30 million euros ($35 million) of diesel was sold in gas stations in Italy and Europe.

Reporting By Gavin Jones; Editing by Ros Russell