OVER 15 MILLION EUROS
Officers of the Direzione Investigativa Antimafia, of the Provincial Unit of the Guardia di Finanza in Reggio Calabria and of the Investigation Branch on Organized Crime ( S.C.I.C.O.) of the Guardia di Finanza, coordinated by the National Antimafia and Antiterrorism Prosecutor’s Office, headed by Mr. Giovanni Melillo and by the Prosecutor’s Office in Reggio Calabria – Antimafia District Directorate – headed by Mr. Giovanni Bombardieri, are enforcing an order of confiscation issued by the Court in Reggio Calabria – Section Preventive Measures – targeting the corporate assets, movable and immovable assets and financial assets – for an estimated total value of 15 million euros – of an entrepreneur in Reggio Calabria working in business services.
The entrepreneur had already come out within operation “MARTINGALA”, carried out by the DIA and the Guardia di Finanza in Reggio Calabria, coordinated by the Antimafia District Directorate in Reggio Calabria, which was concluded in February 2018. Following the investigation, the entrepreneur – without prejudice to any additional evaluations to ascertain final liability – was committed for trial for different crimes, including criminal association for the purpose of committing a series of crimes linked to the illicit management of money flows, such as money laundering, self -laundering and re-use, issuing and use of invoices for inexistent operations, fictitious registration of assets with the aggravating circumstance of mafia-type support.
In particular, investigations highlighted that the entrepreneur acted as a “director” of a complex illicit structure, made up of several shell companies with headquarters in Italy and abroad. The companies were directly or indirectly under his management. He made use of regular documents and invoices of inexistent operations, accompanied by fictitious bills of lading, fictitious freight movements and fictitious provisions of services between his company and beneficiary companies and he was able to offer his “clients” a formal justification for the huge amount of money converging towards his companies.
The entrepreneur had allegedly offered his services and shell companies to several enterprises, mostly linked to entrepreneurs belonging or closely linked to the ‘ndangheta. Such shell companies were involved in several economic transactions simulating freight movements or money flows, which were apparently linked to commercial activities. Such a structure was useful to launder money and to fraudulently acquire tax credits.
On the basis of the investigation results, the National Antimafia and Antiterrosim Directorate and the Antimafia District Directorate in Reggio Calabria – focusing their activity on the economic-business approach of organized crime – entrusted the Investigation Group on Organized Crime (G.I.C.O.) of the Guardia di Finanza in Reggio Calabria, the SC.I.C.O and the DIA Field Office to carry out an economic/financial investigation aimed at taking personal and asset-related preventive measures against the entrepreneur.
After having outlined the social dangerousness of the entrepreneur, both generic and qualified, and on the basis of the results of previous investigations, the investigation was aimed at tracing the direct and indirect acquisition of assets over the last thirty years. The documents referring to the assets, which were directly or indirectly owned by the entrepreneur, the value of which was disproportionate in comparison to his income declared and which were mostly represented by illicitly gained assets, were thoroughly and carefully analyzed.
In October 2020, on the basis of the outcome, the Section Preventive Measures of the Court in Reggio Calabria ordered the seizure of the assets linked to the entrepreneur. At a later stage, considering the substantial evidence gathered, it ordered – without prejudice to further evaluations of merit – the confiscation of the corporate assets made up of 7 companies and commercial enterprises, having their headquarters both in Italy and abroad, 1 sole proprietor company, 5 real estate assets, 10 luxury watches and financial resources for an estimated total value of over 15 million euros.
The court also ordered that the entrepreneur was to be subject to special police surveillance for 4 years with the obligation to stay in his area of residence.
The activity, which is the result of a fruitful cooperation between law enforcement agencies, effectively coordinated by the National Antimafia and Antiterrorism Prosecutor’s Office and by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Reggio Calabria, shows that the identification and tackling of illicitly gained assets and financial resources by mafia-type crime groups play a key role in curbing the pollution of the market and of the healthy business and restoring the adequate levels of legality, transparency and public security.
Reggio Calabria, 7 July 2022
MILANO, CATANIA, BOLOGNA, VIAREGGIO, BERGAMO, SALERNO e PISTOIA
OVER ONE MILLION EUROS
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