Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Renewables: Police Confiscate €1.3 Billion ($1.7 Billion) From Italian 'God of Wind'

We've been following this one for a while, links below.
From Reuters via SwissInfo:

Italy makes huge haul of mafia assets in green energy case
Italy made its biggest confiscation of mafia assets in history on Wednesday, including dozens of alternative energy companies worth a total of 1.3 billion euros (1.1 billion pounds), police said.

A court in Trapani on the island of Sicily ordered the definitive confiscation of assets first seized in 2010 from Vito Nicastri, a 57-year-old businessman, who was deemed a front man for the Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra.

Police and magistrates say Nicastri, once dubbed the "Lord of the Wind" because of his vast wind farm holdings, invested money made from extortion, drug sales and other illicit activities for Matteo Messina Denaro, believed to be Cosa Nostra's boss of bosses.

"Matteo Messina Denaro is behind many businessmen considered above suspicion who manage and take care of the assets of the real boss of Cosa Nostra," Ivan Lo Bello, vice chairman of business lobby Confindustria, commented on Twitter.

"To defeat the mafia, the fight against money laundering is fundamental," Lo Bello said.

Most of the seized assets were located in Sicily, home of the Cosa Nostra, and in southern Calabria, home of its sister crime organisation, the 'Ndrangheta.

The haul included 43 companies, 98 properties and even cars and boats, police said. Messina Denaro, 50, was once known as the "Playboy Boss" because he liked fast cars, women and gold watches. He has been on the run since 1993....MORE
Corriere della Sera refers to Nicastri as an "UPWARDLY MOBILE ELECTRICIAN"

Oct. 2007 
Mafia crime is 7% of GDP in Italy, group reports
 I am unsure whether these gentlemen participate in the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.
The easy joke, of course, is that they set it up....
Feb. 2009
Italy police arrest 8 in Mafia wind farms plot
May 2009 
Mafia link to Sicily wind farms probed
Note to Italian investigators: Unless you are trying to smoke out a mole, Operation Wind is not a good codename.
Sort of like calling Operation Overlord "Operation Invade Fortress Europe via Normandy on June 6, 1944". The key part of the term is "code"....
May 2009 
So a Sicilian mafioso walks into HSBC…
January 2010
Italian mobsters buck downturn, may target bourse (stock market for you Americans)
Sept 2010 
Police in Italy Seize Mafia-linked assets worth $1.9 billion "Mob was Going Green"
May 2012 
The Sicilian Mafia and the International Lemon Cartel

And many more.