In Milan and other cities across the country.
All 24 Chinese arrested on 18 January in Milan, Prato, Rome, Florence, Padua and Pisa in “Operation China Truck” have been released from jail by the review tribunal.
They were originally charged in mid-January together with nine others with belonging to a criminal organisation controlling the transport and distribution of articles made in China or by Chinese in Italy. They are also believed to be involved in prostitution, extortion, usury and drug trafficking.
The tribunal examined the evidence and ruled that there were no grounds to keep the defendants in jail. Some, including one believed by investigators to be the kingpin of the group, were placed under house arrest, while others are obliged only to sign at intervals a police register of presence.
Their release was announced in a brief communiqué on Saturday evening, attracting little media attention after a day of anti-fascist street demos and on the final night of the annual Sanremo song fest.