NewsCrime Desk

Man arrested at airport after wife goes missing at sea

Magnifica Cruise Ship
Magnifica Cruise Ship

An Man is being held by Italian authorities after his wife vanished from the cruise liner Magnifica.

The 45-year-old man, his two children aged four and six and his wife had been on a luxurious cruise on the Mediterranean since the 10th of February.

He was arrested by cops on Tuesday night after attempting to board a flight to Ireland with his two kids, at Rome’s Ciampino Airport.

Police started looking for the man after a roll call on the ship showed that his wife, who is of Chinese descent, was missing.

The woman’s disappearance was only noticed 10 days after the family had boarded the boat in Genoa, when the ship docked again.

When crew members noticed that the passenger details didn’t tally they contacted police who launched a hunt for the man.

It had been reported that the man is an Irish citizen but a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that this is not the case.

"The Department is aware of the case, however it is our understanding that the individual concerned is not an Irish citizen," a spokesperson said.

A police spokesman in Rome said “The man is being held for questioning in connection with the disappearance of his wife.

“He was stopped as he tried to leave Italy with his two young children.

“We want to know what he knows about his wife and why she was not with him when he disembarked from the ship. He has told us a very contradictory story and we want to get to the bottom of it.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, Rome based lawyer Luigi Conti said: “I have been to see my client in prison and he is calm and serene.

“He has an explanation for what happened but I am saving that for the prosecutor.

“He denies completely anything untoward happening, he left the ship and was on his way home as per the booked travel arrangements.

“He was not fleeing from anyone and was acting normally when he left the ship.”

The man is due to appear before a judge in Rome on Friday.