[ exact phrase in "" • ~10 sec • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]

Go to multi-category search »


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Italian mafia ‘turns to wind farm investment to launder money and benefit from EU subsidies’  

Credit:  By Jill Reilly | Daily Mail | 5 July 2013 | www.dailymail.co.uk ~~

Italian mafia have turned to wind farm investment to launder money and benefit from EU subsidies, according to a Europol report.

Winds farms, and renewable energy in general, are the most popular target for laundering money, Europe’s policing agency concluded after analysing the financial activities of Italy’s four mafia groups.

‘The Italian mafia is investing more and more in renewable energy, especially in wind farms, to profit from generous European grants paid for by member states which allow them to mix dirty money with legitimate economic activities,’ the report said according to The Telegraph.

Earlier this year Italian police seized more than £1billion in assets from a Sicilian wind farm magnate because of his alleged links to the Mafia.

The carabinieri confiscated 1.3 billion Euros from Vito Nicastri, 57, through 43 of his energy companies, 98 properties and several bank accounts.

The anti-mafia agency said it was the biggest-ever seizure of mafia-linked assets.

As well as warehouses, and villas, Nicastri’s vast portfolio includes luxury cars and a catamaran.

Attracted by generous EU and state subsidies and lax controls, the Mafia have increasingly used clean energy as a way to launder dirty money.

In the south, where most of the development has taken place, clans have been able to wield its influence to strong arm landowners into accepting the farms, destroying swathes of countryside.

Other windfarms, built with public money, have never functioned.

Nicastri, dubbed ‘Lord of the Wind’ in Sicily, because of his massive renewables investments, is known to have links to Italy’s most-wanted godfather, Matteo Messina Denaro, who has been on the run since 1993.

The Italian anti mafia agency DIA said it was the largest seizure of mafia-linked assets in the country’s history.

Agency head Arturo de Felice said: ‘This is a sector in which money can easily be laundered.

‘Operating in a grey area helped Nicastri to build up his business over the years.’

Since 2010 Nicastri has effectively been under house arrest, forbidden from leaving his home town of Alcamo in western Sicily.

Investigators said the businessman had ‘maintained constant relations with members of Cosa Nostra’ in Sicily, as well as having contacts with the ‘Ndrangheta mafia in Calabria, on the Italian mainland.

This relationship allegedly ‘facilitated his transformation from an electrician into a businessman specialising in the production of electricity from renewable sources, giving him a prominent position in the south’, Italy’s Ansa news agency reports.

The seizure ‘impacts in a significant way on the economic power of Matteo Messina Denaro, who is considered the lord of that land [Sicily]’, the anti-mafia agency said.

Italy banned nuclear power after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 and has to buy in much of its energy from Switzerland and France.

The country has invested heavily in renewables and has the third most wind farms in Europe, after Germany and Spain.

Source:  By Jill Reilly | Daily Mail | 5 July 2013 | www.dailymail.co.uk

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.