Axioma a 47m (154ft) ISA was ordered to pull into Lipari, just north of Sicily, on Friday morning. According to reports, police had received a tip-off that two Russian fugitives were onboard.
However, after boarding Axioma, the police discovered that, while the guests held Russian passports (with two being diplomats), the tip-off was incorrect.
Guests and crew were eventually released after the intercession of the charter party’s representatives Luise & Co who helped to clarify that their documents were in order.
Video footage shows that Axioma was escorted by a helicopter and several vessels one clearly identified as Guardia di Finanza, the Italian financial police force tasked with investigating financial violations.
In a statement Luise & Co says: “What is most disconcerting is that all persons subject to the arrest remained in the police custody for around five hours without being able to eat. And no one has bothered to apologize even with regard to the fact that among the guests were two senior Russian diplomats.”
Axioma with her crew and guests back onboard was permitted to depart Lipari on Friday afternoon.