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'Cocaine traces' found on Costa Concordia captain's hair sample

February 19, 2012 - London

Traces of cocaine have reportedly been found on a hair sample of the shamed captain of Costa Concordia, the luxury cruise ship that ran aground off the Italian coast last month.

The cocaine was, however, not found within the strands of Francesco Schettino's hair or in his urine, the usual signs that someone ingested the drug.

Experts said that the discovery does not prove that Schettino had used the drug, The Daily Mail reports.

Stefano Zerbi, a lawyer representing some of the survivors of the stricken cruise ship described the results as 'very strange', saying he believed the samples 'more than anything else, had been badly preserved and contamination might have resulted'.

According to the report, experts also suggested that Schettino might have been around the cocaine even if he did not consume any.

Meanwhile, Schettino is under house arrest in his home near Naples while he is investigated for alleged manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship.

The cruise liner was carrying over 4,000 passengers when it crashed into a reef near a tiny Tuscan island on January 13, 2012, tipping over on to its side.

According to the report, nearly 32 people on the ship are believed to have died in the accident.


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