Italian police on Friday arrested five people in connection with Mafia infiltration of contracts to build wind farms in eastern Sicily. The arrests included a mayor and a town councillor near Messina across the strait from Calabria, police said. Cosa Nostra has been trying to get into the renewable-energy and wind-farm business for years, Italian investigators say. In December police arrested six people and seized 10 billion euros in assets in a probe into suspected Mafia infiltration of other renewable-energy facilities in western Sicily.
The proceeds from contracts are believed to have gone to fugitive Cosa Nostra head Matteo Messina Denaro. Police said Mafia members got contracts for work on wind farms and solar-energy plants near Agrigento, Palermo and Trapani. A wave of arrests over recent years have closed the net around 50-year-old Agrigento-based boss Denaro, one of the world’s 10 most-wanted men, who took control of Cosa Nostra after the 2006 arrest of Bernardo Provenzano.