By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 13 November 2014:
Marco Vallisa who was kidnapped in Zuwara four months ago has been finally been . . .[restrict]freed and flown back to Italy.
Vallisa, 54, was originally seized on 5 July with two other employees of Italian construction company Piacentini Costruzioni: Petar Matic from Bosnia, and 29-year-old Miljazim (also called Emilio) Gafuri from Macedonia. However, they were released almost immediately.
“I want to warmly thank all those who have worked for the happy ending of this affair”, said Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, expressing today his satisfaction at the technician’s release. It was, he said, the “fruit of teamwork between the foreign ministry’s Crisis Unit, our intelligence services and the Italian embassy in Tripoli. I want to express my deepest appreciation for the dedication and professionalism and for the effective and patient action. A special thanks goes to the Vallisa family for their confidence in the work of our institutions”.
It has been suggested thought the kidnapping was not political, that local criminals were involved with the objective of a ransom.
It is not known if a ransom was paid. The Italian Foreign Minister’s statement included no details of the release.
The men were working on Zuwara’s port development and there is a great deal of local sensitivity about who sees what goes on in the port – well known as an embarkation point for many of the migrants paying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
The news of Vallisa’s release has been welcomed in his home town of Cadeo, south east of Milan. “For us it is the end of a nightmare,” Mayor Marco Bricconi was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, there is still no news of Gianluca Salviato, an engineer with Enrico Ravanelli construction on a sewerage system in Tobruk. The 48-year-old diabetic disappeared on 22 March this year near Tobruk. He is believed to have been kidnapped. [/restrict]