Three officers of the Grimaldi Group who were on the Grande Europa conro ship which caught fire while transiting off the island of Mallorca last month have been arrested in Spain for alleged arson.
The third officer Cristian Porritiello and two other crewmembers whose names have not been revealed are accused of setting off two fires on the ship on May 15.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, which broke the case, reported that prosecutors in Spain are also considering the possibility that the fires could have been a ruse to get insurance payouts.
Grimaldi Group in a statement specified that they are cooperating with the investigations conducted by the Spanish Guardia Civil and in any case the Italian shipping group has to be considered as a victim since “it suffered severe impacts on the operative, commercial and insurance sides”.
Apart from the Grande Europa case, two other ships controlled by the Naples-based shipping company – Cruise Ausonia and Grande America – were hit by fires in the last eight months, cases that are still being investigated.
Grimaldi Group has called for more stringent controls and regulations for cars being transported and for dangerous goods shipped in containers.