Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Berlusconi party Senator in mafia probe

English
© ANSA

Rome, July 26 - Senator Piero Aiello, a member of
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, is
under investigation as part of a mafia probe that led to the
arrest of 65 people in the southern city of Lamezia Terme
Friday.
The probe, which also led to the seizure of 200 million
euros worth of assets from five businessmen on Friday, is
centred on alleged crimes linked to the Giampà clan of the
Calabrian-based 'Ndrangheta mafia syndicate.
A judge rejected a request from anti-mafia investigators in
the Calabrian city of Catanzaro for Aiello to be arrested.
The investigation focuses on alleged insurance fraud which
the Giampà clan used to raise millions of euros to buy arms and
drugs and pay its recruits.
The 65 people arrested include entrepreneurs, local
politicians, lawyers, doctors and members of the penitentiary
police.
Among them is Gianpaolo Bevilacqua, the vice president of
the company that runs Lamezia Terme airport and a former
provincial councillor for the PdL.
One of the lawyers arrested is accused of involvement in
the paying the clam to obtain votes at Lamezia Terme city
elections in 2010.
The investigation also concerns a number of murders
committed in a war between clans from 2005 to 2011.
"The importance of this operation is not just in the number
and the characteristics of the people under investigation and
the quantity of police officers employed, which was around 400,"
Catanzaro police chief Guido Marino told ANSA.
"Above all, the important thing is that we know we have
reconstructed and, in part, dismantled a full-blown mafia
system".
'Ndrangheta controls swathes of Calabria and, thanks to its
control of the European cocaine trade, has infiltrated the
economies of northern Italy, northern Europe, Canada, Australia
and other countries.
It is now ranked Italy's most powerful mafia, having
overtaken Sicily's Cosa Nostra, and the one hardest to recruit
informants from.

© Riproduzione riservata

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