Italy The mission of the 007 who shipwrecked in Lake Maggiore: tourist clothing and lunch in a starred restaurant

It was late on the morning of Sunday, May 28

Italy The mission of the 007 who shipwrecked in Lake Maggiore: tourist clothing and lunch in a starred restaurant

It was late on the morning of Sunday, May 28. The undercover agents (21 men and women, both Italian from AISE and Israeli from Mossad) disembarked from a Slovenian-registered "houseboat" on Isola dei Pescatori, the smallest of the Borromean islands in Lake Maggiore. They wore casual clothes: sneakers, jeans, polo shirts or T-shirts. Clothing perhaps compatible with a lunch, eaten at the starred restaurant "Il Verbano" as part of an end-of-mission excursion, or perhaps clothing worn to pretend to be ordinary tourists as part of their spy mission tactics.

But what mission? The island was crowded, the locals too, although there were rooms for the night that could have accommodated them. Next to the group was the skipper of the boat, Claudio Carminati, who is being investigated for what happened that same afternoon (the shipwreck in the center of the lake due to a storm, perhaps a whirlwind, a hundred meters from the coast of Varese in which four people drowned).

Carminati, 60, is a valuable and trusted contact in the secret services, so his presence was not abnormal. The skipper was traveling with his wife Anna Bozhkova, 50, one of the victims along with agents Tiziana Barnobi and Claudio Alonzi, 53 and 62, and former Mossad agent Shimoni Erez, whose funeral was held at his home with the order from the leadership of the secret services to give media coverage to the ceremony. Anna, in Italy with an unlimited residence permit, was a Russian national. Therefore, it is functional for hypothetical translation services or conversations with compatriots.

Until now, we had focused on the geography of the catastrophe, coinciding with the coast of Sesto Calende, in the Varese area, where the ship sank. But on this other shore, the Piedmontese area of ​​Verbania, the Corriere discovered the following scenario. Of late, there has been an increase in arrivals of Russian "heavyweights", focused on remodeling and opening hotels, by their own admission, with the stated aim of shifting investment from Lake Como to Lake Maggiore. Even 7-star hotels (in Pallanza), not far from the magnificent villa bought by another Russian, suddenly disappeared. He invested capital in renovating the mansion but then, when it was ready, he disappeared. One day to another. It is not known where he went. No one can say or imagine.

A second hotel, equally extra-luxurious, in Baveno, will entail the creation of a gigantic and exclusive park to attract a wealthy clientele. Now, the prohibition since the beginning of the war in Ukraine to export capital from Russia is easily circumvented thanks to deposits in Switzerland, to the Italian and foreign companies of friends, or even - there have been recent episodes - to the displacement of the wives and lovers of tycoons who land in Malpensa and move only in chauffeured cars, to reduce the traces of their movements. The trips are directed above all to the shores of Lugano, and from the canton of Ticino to these shores.

The Verbania coastline is also the destination par excellence for Orthodox Jews, who own historic villas where they celebrate elitist parties with American guests. In short, an endless crossing of people, interests, euros and dollars. Could it be that the secret services were following a particular man and the flow of investments from him?

But who? Such a large team of agents can carry out multiple actions: inspections, monitoring, installation of hidden microphones, selective incursions. Or pure industrial espionage maneuvers: it should not be forgotten that the Israelis could have important interests in monitoring contacts between Italian and Iranian companies, dedicated to the trade in components used for drones.

Once the misfortune occurred in the water, intelligence activated a typical exfiltration operation, that is, the recovery of the personnel, avoiding identifications and escapes, shortening the stopover times in hospitals and freeing as soon as possible the houses rented or owned by the government where the agents had stayed. But the same Italian and Israeli intelligence will try to prevent counterintelligence from discovering what the 21 spies were after both in Varese and in Piedmont, what they might have found or what they had in imminent preparation after acquiring the information, taking the photographs and capturing the voices that they needed.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project