The Italian police seized “an arsenal of military weapons,” including an air-to-air missile, and a collection Nazi paraphernalia, from three men, one of whom is a former right-wing political candidate.
Fabio Del Bergiolo, who ran for the Italian Senate in 2001 as a candidate for the Forza Nuova party, was arrested on Monday in connection with the arms stockpile alongside two Swiss citizen Alessandro Monti and Fabio Bernardi.
Monti, 42, and Bernardi, 51, were arrested for allegedly possessing and trying to selling a French-made Matra air-to-air missile, while Bergiolo, 60, was arrested for allegedly acting as an intermediary to sell weapons, a Turin police statement said.
The arms were discovered by police who were investigating Italians “with extremist ideology” who had fought alongside Russian-backed separatist forces in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, last July, according to the police statement.
The investigation relied on the help of an arms expert who contacted the suspects about purchasing the Matra missile on behalf of a third party, police said..
The probe brought authorities to the home of Del Bergiolo, where an array of military-grade weapons and illegally held guns were found, according to police.
Investigations are underway to determine how french made Matra rocket, once apparently belonging to the Qatari army, arrived in Italy.
Del Bergiolo’s house allegedly also contained Nazi swastikas and references to the Nazi military Waffen SS unit.
Forza Nuova’s plitical party has reportedly rejected any existing link with Del Bergiolo.