Italy confirms seizure of Chinese combat drones destined for Benghazi

Jul 2, 2024 | International actors

On 2 July, the Italian Guardia di Finanza confirmed in a statement that a total ofsix containers coming from China and destined for Libya were confiscated in Gioia Tauro (in southern Italy) after irregularities were detected in the customs documentation. The containers were supposed to carry components for the assembly of wind power generators for electricity. After performing radiogenic scanning an in-depth inspection was carried out. Subsequently, various components for the assembly of two combat drones were detected.

The Italian authorities said the drones were concealed among some composite cover loads replicating wind blades. The assembled drones have a weight of more than 3 tons, a length of more than 10 meters and a wingspan of about 20 meters. In light of the facts found, the seizure was ordered by a judge in connection with the suspicion of international arms trafficking to a country – such as Libya – subject to embargo on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions, Italian national and EU regulations. Furthermore, two drone control stations were detected.