Italy ‘steals’ hand gel destined for Switzerland

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ISLAMABAD, (TLTP): Italy has blocked a lorry at its border and confiscated disinfectant en route to Switzerland. The Swiss commercial transport association is talking of “state theft”, and Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has reportedly intervened.

Swiss company Victory Switzerland imports items from all over the world. Since last week, however, Italy has been holding a lorry with its paid-for products at the Swiss-Italian border at Domodossola.

Victory Switzerland’s managing director, Daniel Gerber, told local media that the lorry was carrying disinfectant hand gel, which Italian customs officials confiscated “on the spot”.

The Italian customs authorities justified the seizure on the authority of a special coronavirus emergency decree. According to the document, the goods are delivered to the civil defence unit based in Domodossola, which distributes them to hospitals and municipalities as needed.

Victory Switzerland had ordered the products from German company Gifts & Beauty Handels and paid more than CHF30,000 ($30,800) for them three weeks ago. However, they were manufactured in Italy.

According to the Italian authorities, the manufacturers or sellers of the confiscated products would be compensated. Gerber hopes it can claim the CHF30,000 back from the German company. However, he said he would have to write off the costs for the transport that hadn’t been completed plus lost profits.

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