The financiers of the economic and financial police unit of Palermo have executed a provision of the Gip of Messina in the comparisons of the shipping company Caronte & Tourist that determined the seizure of the ferries Helga
, employed in the scheduled connections between Sicily and Ustica and the Aeolian Islands and in the Strait of Messina, as well as the preventive seizure of assets for about 29 million euros, a sum that The company would receive between 2017 and 2020 as facilitation by the Sicilian Region. According to the surveys of the financiers, ships would not be equipped to transport Travellers with reduced mobility, a requirement declared by the Company at the time of participating in the regional call for connections from Milazzo to the Aeolian Islands and from Palermo to Ustica.
In the investigation, which constitutes another trance of that which in 2020 it led to the seizure of the three Charon ferries, Peace and Ulysses ( of 10 January 2020), four people are investigated: Vincenzo Franza, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company of navigation, the managing director Edoardo Bonanno, as well as Sergio La Cava and Luigi Genchi, former directors of the Navigazione Generale Italiana which in 2017 was incorporated by the Charon & Tourist. They are all under investigation for fraud in public supplies. In La Cava aggravated fraud is also contested for the achievement of public disbursements and falsehood ideological.
Learning of the seizure of the three ships of Charon & Tourist, the president of the Sicilian Region, Renato Schifani, has announced that the institution immediately took action to limit the maximum inconvenience to the population and find alternative solutions. "The priority of our government - he specified - is to guarantee a stable, efficient and functional service with the smaller islands to protect residents and travellers'. "We have pre-alerted - added the regional councilor to the Infrastructure and mobility, Alessandro Aricò - i prefects of Palermo and Messina and contacted the company Caronte & Tourist to check how it intends to guarantee the service, through the use of other ferries. In addition, we have asked the judicial administrator, who has just settled, to be able to arrange the resumption of the service of the three ships seized only for the carriage of passengers who do not present reduced mobility and freight'.
Caronte & Tourist, in a note, demonstrated "enormous surprise" for the measure ordered by the authority judicial proceedings relating to tenders for services of Maritime transport of 2015. "The surprise - explained the Company - derives from the fact that already at the time we had set out a number of technical and legal elements to proof of the non-existence of the offences (essentially the same) even then hypothesized in a proceeding concerning other lot of the same tender. At that time our theses had been well evaluated with the final acknowledgment that there was no danger for the safety of persons and passengers with mobility reduced (PMR), as indeed certified by the technical body that for Law is required to provide such attestation. "We reiterate therefore the absolute linearity and legality of our behaviors, having to frame the story in the context of the interpretation of regulations protecting the right to mobility and the safety of PRMs. Interpretation ours that has found confirmation in the certifications of the certifying body as well as in Numerous court rulings administrative and most recently in a judgment of the Court of Cagliari, which in a procedural matter absolutely overlapping acquitted the shipping company involved for the non-existence of the crime. We confirm - concludes the note - full confidence in the work of the judiciary, certain that also This time the suitability of our ships will be established'.