Vast anti-organized crime campaign in Italy. An operation carried out by four public prosecutors (Reggio Calabria, Catanzaro, Naples and Rome) and the National Anti-Mafia Directorate resulted in 71 protective measures including 56 custody orders, and the seizure of assets worth ‘about one billion euros.
Those arrested are particularly suspected ofmafia-type association, from money laundering and of tax fraud on petroleum products.
Named “Petrol-mafie SPA”, the operation was launched this Thursday morning following two years of investigation into the Ndraghenta, the Mafia of the Calabria region, and the Camorra, the mafia established in Naples and Campania.
The two mafia groups would have created a series of fictitious companiesto avoid paying the Italian authorities taxes on the trade in fuel. Thanks to a complex system of fake invoices, the criminal networks pretended to trade in fuel, including with companies abroad. The authors were thus able to avoid paying nearly a billion euros in taxes.
“Fuel fraud is gaining more and more public attention, not least because of the multi-million dollar tax dollars being diverted. However, until now, this was an area criminal reserved for “specialists”, not necessarily linked to organized crime clans, “write the prosecutors in charge of the investigation, in a press release.
“The result is a harmful synergy between the mafias and white-collar criminals, without whose help the former would have had little chance of making the most of this type of tax fraud “, deplore the investigators.
The money from these criminal activities was partially transferred to foreign bank accounts. At the request of the Reggio Calabria public prosecutor’s office, the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) therefore coordinated the cross-border investigation allowing the freezing of these bank accounts in Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Malta and Romania. , as indicated by Eurojust in a press release.