Operation “SUD PONTINO”
On 10 May2010 some DIA staff, by enforcing an order issued by the Prosecutor for Preliminary Investigations (G.I.P.) from the Naples Court – upon request of the local D.D.A., arrested 67 persons charged with mafia-type association, extortion, illicit competition, through violence and threat and other serious crimes against the persons as well as trafficking in war weapons.
At different stages, they belong to the following Camorra syndicates: Mallardo, Panico and Cataldo, Schiavone and Del Vecchio, as well as to Cosa Nostra organizations like Riina, Messina Denaro, Rinzivillo and Santapaola-Ercolano.
The operation was carried out in the provinces of Lodi, Florence, Ferrara, Latina, Naples, Caserta, Catania, Caltanissetta, Salerno and Trapani, and enabled us to detect the mafia-type control on fruit and vegetable market as well as road transport.
The investigations, started in 2005 by the Rome DIA Operations Centre, upon indication by the National Antimafia Prosecutor’s Office as to organized crime infiltration into that specific commercial field, revealed criminal agreements as to the monopole imposed upon transporters of fruit and vegetables to and from the most important farmers’ markets in Italy, like those of Fondi (LT), Giugliano in Campania (NA), Aversa (CE), Catania, Palermo, Vittoria (RG), Gela (CL) and Marsala (TP), thus seriously influencing free trade.
In particular, criminal interests of Camorra, Cosa Nostra and ‘Ndrangheta emerged as to the control of fruit and vegetable transport in all the Central Southern area, as well as alliances and strategies agreed upon to gain a monopole and impose, on the operators in that sector, purchase prices for the goods and the relevant transport, adopting methods typical to mafia-type organizations, like threats, violence and use of weapons, available to the organization to a great extent.
Moreover, during the investigations, the contexts of the alliances between Cosa Nostra and Camorra were detected, together with the struggle for supremacy between the “Casalesi” and camorra members of the “MALLARDO” organization, the subdivision of the areas of influence between the Casalesi and the ‘Ndrangheta family named “TRIPODO” with the ousting of the latter, that had been active in the Fondi area (LT).
During the aforesaid operations, preventive seizures were carried out, under section 321 of the criminal procedure code, involving 22 companies, a lot of buildings, lands, vehicles, bank and postal accounts for a total value of 90 million euros.