Italian police today seized 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in assets belonging to a Sicilian businessman linked to the Mafia in the country’s biggest haul against organized crime, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said.
“It was the biggest seizure of assets” in Italian history, Maroni said in a television interview on “Mattino Cinque” on Mediaset SpA’s Canale 5. The businessman, based in the Sicilian city of Trapani, is “close to the Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, currently at large,” Maroni said.
A statement by anti-Mafia investigators in Rome identified the businessman as Vito Nicastri, who works in alternative- energy production. He has not been arrested. His seized assets include more than 100 properties, 43 companies operating mainly in the wind-power industry, luxury cars, a 46-foot catamaran, bank accounts and securities, according to the statement.
Italian police seized 15 billion euros in assets from organized crime groups in the 14 months through August, Maroni said on Aug. 15. Among the seizures was Rome’s Café de Paris, famous for appearing in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film “La Dolce Vita.” Investigators said the café was owned by the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at firstname.lastname@example.org
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