Italian authorities, tipped off by a Mafia turncoat, have found a scuttled freighter laden with drums of toxic waste lying in 500-meters of water off southwest Italy.
The head of Calabria's environment agency says the mob may have sunk as many as 32-ships in his region. From Reuters:
The ship, which officials say may even contain radioactive elements, lay in 500 meters (yards) of water in the Tyrrhenian sea. TV images showed at least one barrel had fallen from its damaged hull and lay empty on the seabed.
"There could be problems of toxins and heavy metals ... this is an issue for the whole international community," said Silvestro Greco, head of Calabria's environment agency.
The ship's location was revealed by Francesco Fonti, an ex-member of Calabria's feared 'Ndrangheta crime group, who confessed to using explosives to sink this vessel and two others.
Greco said investigators believed there were 32 ships carrying toxic waste sunk by the mafia since the introduction of tighter environmental legislation in the 1980s made illegal waste disposal a lucrative business for crime groups.
"The Mediterranean is 0.7 percent of the world's seas. If in this tiny portion there are more than 30 (toxic waste) shipwrecks, imagine what there could be elsewhere," he said