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Italian navy smuggles cigarettes after Libya mission

An Italian naval vessel was used to smuggle crates of cigarettes while returning from a mission to stop migrants from travelling from Libya to Europe, the navy confirmed on Wednesday after revelations in the press.

The Caprera ship had aboard more than 700 kg of contraband cigarettes, a total of 3,600 cartons in 72 boxes, according to the website of TV programme Le Iene.

The vessel had spent three and a half months in the port of Tripoli on an assistance mission with the Libyan coastguard to intercept and rescue migrant boats in the mediterranean.

When the Caprera returned to the southern Italian base of Brindisi in mid-July, the commander ordered a complete search that revealed the crates of foreign cigarettes, according to a statement from the navy.

The cigarettes have been seized and a judicial inquiry and internal investigation has begun.

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