Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018

PdL councillor arrested in major 'Ndrangheta operation


Rossano (Cosenza), June 19 - Police arrested 28
people, including a city councilor, and seized 40 million euros
in assets Wednesday during a major operation against a clan of
the 'Ndrangheta mafia with fingers in everything from running
cafes to owing a soccer club to money laundering.
Arrests were carried out across Italy, towns and cities
including Vigevano, Viterbo, Parma, Cuneo and Rossano where
lawyer and city councilor Ivan Nicoletti, elected in May 2011,
was picked up.
Police say they suspect the Acri-Morfo clan manipulated
that election to ensure that Nicoletti, who represents
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party,
won a seat on council.
Nicoletti faces charges of mafia association while others
are suspected of election fraud and voter intimidation in
connection with that election.
Police say that one voter in Rossano was even beaten to
force him to vote for Nicoletti.
Other charges against the 28 range from mafia association
and criminal conspiracy, attempted murder, receiving stolen
property, extortion, drug dealing, robbery and fraudulent
transfer of assets.
Police believe that money was laundered by the gang
through an amateur soccer club, SSC Rossanese, controlled by
Orazio Acri, one of the 28 arrested Wednesday.
Police seized the assets of 17 businesses, 25 properties
that include land and apartments, 45 cars, seven insurance
policies, bank accounts and wads of cash.
They say the clan controlled all coffee sales in the area
of Rossano, located deep in Italy's southern region of Calabria.
The gang demanded that all businesses in the area, from
seaside establishments to bars and cafes, use only Pellegrino
Caffe or in a pinch, Jamaican Caffe or Caffe.
Wiretaps also suggested the clan was investing in cafes and
ice cream parlours in the United States.

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