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Complex Event Processing (CEP) is considered as a promising technology for enabling the evolution of service-oriented enterprise systems towards operational aware systems. CEP effectively supports the implementation of "sense and respond" behaviours, as it enables to extract meaningful events from raw data streams originated by sensing infrastructures, for enterprise processes and applications consumption. This paper proposes a novel CEP engine conceived with ease of use, extensibility, portability, and scalability requirements in mind. More specifically, we propose a Lightweight Stage-based Event Processor (LiSEP) based on a layered architectural design. Thanks to the adoption of Staged Event-Driven Architecture principles, core event processing logic is decoupled from low-level thread management issues. This results in an easy-to-understand and extensible implementation while testing results show performance scalability. We report on the carrying out of a case study on dangerous goods monitoring in maritime transport. The objective of the case study is to develop a Proof of Concept application leveraging on LiSEP capabilities in sensor and RFID events processing for monitoring and alerting purposes.