The Direzione Investigativa Antimafia carried out an order, issued by the G.I.P. of the Court in Palermo, upon a request of the Prosecutor’s Office – District Antimafia Directorate, asking for 10 precautionary measures, comprising a preventive custody in prison, 5 house arrests and 4 prohibitions from practicing a profession and an entrepreneurial activity.
The operation, conventionally called “Breaking Bet“, was developed by the Resident Office of the DIA in Agrigento, and allowed to collect serious clues of guilt against the suspects who are charged, in various respects, for external support to a mafia association, mediation in the betting system by installing gambling devices without the authorization of the Agenzia dei Monopoli, as well as aggravated extortion facilitated by the mafia method and fraudulent transfer of assets.
Serious clues about the widespread distribution and installation of illegal gambling stations were gathered during the investigation. This criminal activity relied on the creation of front companies registered in the name of frontmen so to conceal the real ownership. The devices were linked to specific foreign websites and the betters could participate by betting on sports events and could chose virtual skill games and games options (videopoker, roulette etc…) characterized by hazards and profits.
The investigations highlighted serious clues on the proceeds of betting, aimed at economically supporting the mafia families in Licata (AG) and in Campobello di Licata (AG). Some of these proceeds were also transferred to the leading figures of the mafia family in Campobello di Mazara (TP). In this way Cosa Nostra, besides increasing it could gain or somehow implement the direct or indirect control of profitable economic activities in the area.
Furthermore, during the judicial police activity, a number of house searches against suspects were carried out. However, until suspects are found guilty, the presumption of innocence still applies.
Agrigento, 8 November 2023
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