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Italian policeman of the Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police) escort Italian Annamaria Fontana, suspected with her husband Mario Di Leva of smuggling weapons to Libya and to Iran despite an embargo, on January 31, 2017 in San Giorgio a Cremano near Naples. Venice tax and finance police arrested four people - three Italians and a Libyan national - accused of smuggling weapons into Iran and Libya between 2011 and 2015, in a nationwide operation in Rome, Naples, Salerno and L'Aquila coordinated by the DDA anti-mafia police department in Naples. / AFP / CARLO HERMANN (Photo credit should read CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

Italy captures 4 people smuggling weapons to Libya

The Italian police force has arrested four people on Tuesday under the suspicion of smuggling arms, including helicopters and surface-to-air missiles into Libya and Iran between the years of 2011 and 2015 in violation of the international embargoes set by the United Nations (UN).

La Repubblica reports that three Italian nationals, Mario Di Leva, Annamaria Fontana and legal representative for Rome-based Italian helicopters company, Andrea Pardi, were already involved in a separate investigation. They were accused of arms trafficking and the recruitment of mercenaries between Italy and Somalia. The three Italian nationals and a Libya national, Mahmoud Ali Al-Shawish, are accused of smuggling air ambulances and weapons such as surface-to-air missiles, assault rifles and anti-tank missiles to Libya between 2011-2015. The air ambulances were later converted into military helicopters armed with missiles and other weapons.

The weapons and artillery are believed to be ex-soviet property, manufactured in Ukraine and shipped from third countries according to Reuters. Investigations are now underway to see whether the arms destination was for Daesh.

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