“Lord of the Wind” has £1.1billion in “Mafia-related assets” seized
Vito Nicastri, 57, is believed by police to be a frontman for Cosa Nostraand to have close links with one of Italy’s most wanted men, Matteo Messina Denaro, the “boss of bosses” for the Sicilian Mafia.
The confiscation underlined fears that Italy’s clean energy sector has been infiltrated by dirty money from organised crime.
Investigators accused Mr Nicastri of investing millions of euros made from extortion, drug trafficking and other criminal activities in a string of companies, including some which invested in wind farms on the island.
They suspect organised crime groups like Cosa Nostra have laundered dirty money through the wind-generated energy sector, at the same time taking advantage of generous subsidies, some of them paid for by the European Union.
A court in Trapani, in western Sicily, ordered the confiscation of the assets and businesses, which were located in Sicily and in Calabria, the southern region of the mainland which is the base for the ‘Ndrangheta mafia.
The assets, worth 1.3 billion euros, included more than 40 companies, nearly 100 properties, 66 bank accounts, life insurance policies, seven sports cars and even luxury yachts.
The assets were first frozen in 2010 when police became suspicious about Mr Nicastri’s business activities, but yesterday’s (WEDS) action means that they have been definitively confiscated. “These assets will now pass directly to the state,” said Arturo De Felice, the director of the Anti-Mafia Investigative Directorate, one of the country’s elite crime-fighting bodies. “This is an unprecedented sum. It is something we are justifiably proud of.” He said there was no evidence to suggest that Mr Nicastri had got his hands on EU funds directly, although he had benefited from the Italian government’s regional assistance programmes for Sicily, one of the most under-developed parts of the country.
Mr Nicastri started out as a humble electrician but amassed huge wealth thanks to his contacts in the criminal underworld, Italian authorities believe.
“Operating in a grey area helped him build up his business over the years,” Mr De Felice said.
The entrepreneur earned his nickname through his ability to secure licenses, lease land and arrange financial backing for green energy projects.
He ran companies that managed wind farms and owned plants producing solar energy panels.
The investigators said he “maintained constant relations with members of Cosa Nostra” across Sicily and also had links with the ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria, across the Strait of Messina.
As the investigation continues, Mr Nicastri was placed under a form of detention and ordered not to leave his home town of Alcamo in western Sicily.
i posted on these guys months ago..
“groups like Cosa Nostra have laundered dirty money through the wind-generated energy sector, at the same time taking advantage of generous subsidies, some of them paid for by the European Union.”
nice work..they can spot a sucker a mile away cant they?
this is the tip of the iceberg i would suspect..the whole global industry is a money making machine for the elites and the corrupt..or is that the same thing?