Officers of the Provincial Command of the Guardia di Finanza, the Carabinieri from Reggio Calabria, the D.I.A. and the S.C.I.C.O. , coordinated by the Prosecutor’s Office in Reggio Calabria – Antimafia District Direction, headed by Dott. Giovanni Bombardieri, are enforcing an order issued by the Section Preventive Measures of the Court in Reggio Calabria. This order implements the asset-related measure of the confiscation of assets – totalling an estimated value over 160 million euros – linked to an entrepreneur from Reggio Calabria, operating in the building sector.
The investigation ascertained that the affected party from mid ‘80s to 2017 initiated and strengthened his position as an entrepreneur in the building sector in the Reggio area. In doing so, he was backed by the historical locali of the ‘Ndrangheta, previously by the Latella family and then, since 2000 by the De Stefano.
The facts was revealed also during the operations “Monopoli” and “Martingala”.
The first, carried out by the Provincial Command of the Carabinieri in Reggio Calabria, shed light over a system based on entrepreneurs from Reggio, having the same criminal interests, who, profiting from the support of local cosche, succeeded in illegally accumulating huge profits, which immediately were laundered in flourishing and different commercial activities. The investigation ended in 2018 with the arrest of 4 persons for offences foreseen by art. 416 bis c.p. (mafia-type criminal association), 12 quinquies D.L. 306/92 (today 512 bis c.p.) (illegal transfer of assets) and art. 648 ter 1 c.p. (self-laundering) with the aggravating circumstance of mafia support envisaged by art. 7 D.L. 152/1991 (today 416 bis 1 c.p.), as well as with measures against financial resources of companies /enterprises, assets and real estate properties for a total estimated value of 50 million euros.
In this context, the affected party – without prejudice to the state and further evaluations of the final liability – was sentenced in first instance to 12 years imprisonment and to the security measure of supervised release for 3 years in relation to the external support of a mafia-type association.
Furthermore, the investigation determined that the above-mentioned entrepreneur had a binding pact with the criminal organization and, in particular, with the De Stefano cosca. Thus, the person succeeded in expanding his real estate speculative activities, arising to a dominant position in that sector and backing the ‘ndrangheta infiltration.
Whereas the second operation was conducted by the local Field Office of the D.I.A. and by the G.I.C.O. of the Nucleo di Polizia Economico Finanziaria from Reggio Calabria. This investigation targeted a complex criminal group committing serious crimes, including also mafia-type association, money-laundering, self-laundering and criminal organization aimed at issuing false invoices, with the aggravating circumstance, for some of them, of adopting the mafia-type method. The activity ended in 2018 and 27 orders of arrest as well as preventive orders were issued against 51 also foreign companies – corporate shares, movable and real estate properties, and financial resources amounting to estimated € 119,000,000.
In this context, evidence was ascertained concerning tax and VAT offences of the affected party, so to gain illegal proceeds to reinvest also in his own corporate activities.
Thus, the competent District Antimafia Direction – increasingly interested in economic entrepreneurial sectors linked to organised crime – entrusted the Gruppo Investigazione Criminalità Organizzata (G.I.C.O.) of the Guardia di Finanza, the Nucleo Investigativo dei Carabinieri and the local Field Office of the D.I.A. to carry out an ad hoc economic/asset investigation. This investigation targeted the above-mentioned entrepreneur with preventive personal and asset-related measures.
This activity, based also on the results of previous investigations, traced back all the assets gained from 1985 to 2017. Furthermore, the complex and in-depth crosschecks revealed the assets directly or indirectly linked to the entrepreneur whose value was disproportionate with his official income.
In October 2019, the Section Preventive Measures of the Court in Reggio Calabria thus ordered – without prejudice to the state and further evaluations of the final liability – the seizure of the assets linked to the entrepreneur and, at a later stage, acknowledged circumstantial evidence and issued an order of preventive asset-related confiscation regarding corporate assets including 7 companies and business activities in the building and real estate sector, including also 99 real estate properties and 16 vehicles – shares in the capital of 2 companies operating in the building and touristic sector, 234 land plots and buildings, movable assets, as well as financial resources, for a total estimated value of 160 million euros.
The local Court ordered also a personal preventive measure of special surveillance for Public Security for 3 years against the entrepreneur, with the obligation to stay in the area of residence.
All police forces closely cooperated in the above-mentioned activities. These were effectively coordinated by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Reggio Calabria and testify the considerable attention placed in identifying and fighting the assets and financial resources illegally gained by mafia-type criminal groups, in order to curb market infiltration and enhance good entrepreneurship. The aim, in fact, is to restore adequate levels of legality, transparency and public security.
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