Posted on June 18, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Three officers that were working aboard the fire-stricken ConRo vessel, Grande Europa have been arrested in Spain and charged with arson.
The Grimaldi-owned Grande Europa caught on fire last month while transiting off Mallorca. An investigation by Spain’s Guardia Civil has revealed that the fire on the Grande Europa were the product of arson.
Following a month-long investigation, the 28-year old Third Officer Christian Porritiello, alongside two other crew members whose names have not been disclosed at this time, was found accused of starting two fires on the vessel on May the 15th.
Allegedly, according to the Guardia Civil, some of his coworkers have inferred that this act on his behalf could have been orchestrated from within the company, and that Mr. Porritiello might have been offered a promotion as a reward.
Reportedly, the Spanish prosecutors are looking into the possibility that the fires were set in order to claim insurance payouts.
In response, the Grimaldi Group has issued a statement saying that they are fully cooperating with the Guardia Civil investigations, but suggesting that they are the true victims of this incident, as the fire caused a severe impact on the operative, commercial and insurance aspects of managing the vessel.
The Italian-based shipowner has suffered two major fires in this year. On March the 11th, their ConRo, Grande America sunk, following a disastrous fire off the coast of France. Investigations are still ongoing as to the cause behind the fire, but these latest allegations are forcing the investigators to re-examine their evidence.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic