Mega seizure of mafia assets in Milan

Expo 2015 pavilions and Arese hypermarket involved.

Italy’s Guardia di Finanza specialised police force for white-collar crime executed seizure warrants on Tuesday 25 October for assets in Milan and elsewhere in Lombardy and southern Italy.

Guardia teams seized luxury cars, houses, apartment blocks, motorcycles and current accounts for a total value of some €15 million.

The assets confiscated were the property of a number of criminals and northern companies discovered to be in cahoots with the Aquino-Coluccio and Piromalli-Cellocco mafia families. The mafiosi had infiltrated the companies with front men to steer illegal contracts.

The warrants were issued by DDA anti-mafia prosecutors in Reggio Calabria, homeland of the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate. They had unearthed illegal activity in winning contracts for the construction of two pavilions in Expo Milano 2015 – for China and Ecuador – and one of Italy’s largest hypermarkets in the Milan suburb of Arese.

Other criminal activity included obtaining contracts for infrastructure work at the Expo site and sub-contracts for the Ferrovie del Nord railway network. Charges levelled against the accused include “mafia-type criminal association, recycling, extortion, induction to prostitution and illegal detention of firearms, all with the aggravating factor of mafia methods.”

The provinces involved in the swoop in the north included Milan, Brescia, Bergamo, Bologna and Mantova, apart from Reggio Calabria, Catanzaro and Catania in the south.