Six Italian soldiers are being investigated by the Italian military for the trafficking of rare carpets from Afghanistan to Italy.
According to a report in the Italian daily La Repubblica, the charges also involve the improper use of a military escort in order to avoid attacks, as the six soldiers bought rare "Herati" carpets in an Afghan market.
The discovery of the trafficking operation follows a previous investigation involving cigarrete smuggling.
The soldiers belonged to helicopter units in the military and three of them had the rank of captain, while two others were lieutenant colonel and one was a warrant officer.
Instead of declaring the goods to the Carabinieri or Italian military police, the six soldiers allegedly sent the carpets to other European bases, and then used a complex operation to smuggle the goods back to Italy.
The report said that due to the current violence and instability in Afghanistan, the export of Afghan carpets has declined and rare carpets can be bought cheaply in the Afghan markets, only to be resold for ten times the price in Europe.
It is still unknown whether the carpets were sold, given as gifts to their military superiors or ended up in the houses of the accused soldiers.
Last Mod: 17 Ağustos 2007, 17:52