Sleuths we are not, but we came across a very interesting mystery Friday.
We had lunch in front of one of the largest yachts in the world, and owned by someone we cannot locate any information on. We saw several people, including some of the 30 person crew come on and off. There were several interesting looking persons, one who looked like a famous designer.
But there were two Middle Eastern looking men that were escorted off through a private security gate. After lunch, we saw these men come out of a bar. They were ahead of us, and were speaking in English about someone named Valentino, but they were looking for a building, well off the beaten path.
Soon, they hooked up with one of the many northern African vendors of fake handbags. One of them quickly put one of the bags into a large plastic bag. The black man and one of the men hurriedly went into a nearby hotel. When they came out minutes later, they headed to a nearby bar, while one of the men stayed outside and was quite animated on a cell phone.
Although we have no real idea of what was going on, something seemed very fishy. The yacht these men were on rents for $600,000 plus food and fuel per week. The fake handbag industry, which is very prevalent all over Venice, is about $300B worldwide and organized crime is behind it.
Maybe some cash went into that bag, perhaps from another illegal enterprise. Maybe something else. We will leave it at that.