Italian Police seize ‘mafia assets’ worth $1.9 bn

September 15th, 2010 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Palermo (Italy), Sep 15 (IANS/AKI) Italian Police have seized assets worth 1.5 billion euros (about $1.9 billion) from a Sicilian businessman who is suspected of having ties with the mafia.
It was the country’s biggest property seizure in the war it has declared against organised crime networks like the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Camorra from Naples.

“It was (Italy’s) biggest seizure of assets,” Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Tuesday in a TV interview on “Mattino Cinque”, a breakfast show on media-tycoon Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Canale 5.

Anti-mafia authorities have opened probes into alleged mafia money laundering operations in Italy’s renewable energy.

Anti-mafia police from Trapani Tuesday seized the property belonging to Vito Nicastri, a businessman based in the Sicilian province of Trapani. Nicastri had been arrested for alleged fraud in the solar and wind energy sector.

Investigators say he has ties to mafia fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro.

Maroni on Aug 15 said Italy had seized suspected mafia assets worth 15 billion euros in a span of about one year.



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