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Italian mafia muscling its way into wind farm business  

Credit:  By Dave Goldiner, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER, www.nydailynews.com 5 May 2009 ~~

Even the mob is going green these days.

Italian mafia gangs have reportedly muscled their way into lucrative wind farm construction deals.

With European subsidies making wind power a hugely profitable business, the omerta guys have gone PC by weaseling their way into projects across Sicily and in several projects on the mainland.

A prosecution investigation dubbed “Operation Wind” revealed mob promises of money and votes for local politicians in exchange for help in approving wind farm projects.

Several mob-linked wind projects later were found to be poorly built, and some are now off-line.

“This is the amazing thing, that developers got public money to build wind farms which did not produce electricity,” Roberto Scarpinato, a veteran anti-Mafia prosecutor in Sicily, told the Financial Times newspaper.

An earlier investigation into a wind power fraud case in western Sicily resulted in eight arrests in February.

Italy is No. 4 in Europe in wind production, a key eco-friendly power source.

It guarantees sky-high rates of $240 per kilowatt hour, virtually assuring operators of fat profits, the newspaper said.

Source:  By Dave Goldiner, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER, www.nydailynews.com 5 May 2009

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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