Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington is currently shooting his upcoming action thriller, The Equalizer 3, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, but independent caterers were reportedly subject to a drug raid following the sudden death of the head of the film’s catering service.
On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Italian officials used forced entry to enter hotel rooms belonging to The Equalizer 3 caterers on suspicion that they were in possession of drugs, as reported by Variety.
The surprise raid was prompted by the discovery of several packages of cocaine in the belongings of the deceased head caterer, who died from a heart attack on Monday, Oct. 31.
This inspired further suspicion of illicit substances on the production set.
Il Giornale, an Italian publication, reported that Italian paramilitary police seized 120 grams of cocaine, resulting in two catering staff members being placed on house arrest in the seaside resort of Maiori on alleged drug trafficking charges.
Close sources told Deadline that the men were arrested after a “private gathering” during the country’s All Saints’ religious and public holiday. They were celebrating a day off, as did Italy’s government offices, schools, and many private businesses.
Another employee of the catering company had his driver’s license confiscated after police found him in possession of a small amount of cocaine.
In addition to the hotel, police searched an area of the Maiori’s port, where the film’s production was set up.
Sony Pictures is partnering with Italy’s Eagle Pictures for the film, with local production house Garbo Produzioni handling the physical production, per Variety. Currently in its fourth week of shooting, The Equalizer 3 is taking advantage of Italy’s generous production incentives through Garbo.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, The Equalizer 3 reunites Washington and Dakota Fanning nearly 20 years after they starred together in 2004’s Man On Fire. Italian actress Gaia Scodellaro also stars.
The film will be released on Sept. 1, 2023.