The fight against the mafia, the gangs of robbers defeated, the measures of public security with particular reference to religious processions, but also the activity of the administrative police. The commissioner of Palermo Leopoldo Laricchia illustrated the data of one year of activity in the city and province. And in the long list the arrests and operations against organized crime and drug trafficking stand out.
In 2022, the organized crime section conducted four judicial police operations, two of which in May, one in June and another in July.
TENTACLES. On 17 May 2022, the police enforced a precautionary custody order in prison for 31 suspects (of which 29 in prison and 2 under house arrest – 26 with execution by the state police and 5 by the carabinieri ), held responsible for various reasons for mafia-type association, possession and production of drugs, possession of weapons, personal aiding and abetting and extortion with the aggravating circumstance of the mafia method.
The restrictive provision stems from an investigation activity, launched by the Palermo mobile team and by the central operational service in 2019 which made it possible to reconstruct the organization chart of the mafia families active in the broad criminal context of the mandate of Brancaccio which includes the mafia families of Brancaccio, Corso dei Mille and Roccella.
In particular, it was possible to reconstruct the structure of the mafia families of Brancaccio, identifying leaders, followers and soldiers, who, from the info-investigative acquisitions, it was ascertained to be responsible for numerous crimes – end of the mafia association, from extortion, committed against of numerous merchants and entrepreneurs to the management of the various drug dealing squares scattered throughout the Brancaccio area, with the consequent seizure of large quantities of cocaine from Calabria, all crimes that have allowed the accumulation of the proceeds necessary for the maintenance of the association and the remuneration of free associates and families of those detained.
ENTIRE MANDAMENT.On 25 May 2022, personnel of the organized crime section of the mobile squad and of the central operational service of Rome implemented the order for the application of precautionary measures issued by the investigating magistrate at the Alfredo Montalto court of Palermo, against 9 persons under investigation, at various title, for the crime of mafia-type criminal association and aggravated extortion.
The restrictive measure stems from an investigation launched by the Palermo mobile squad and by the central operational service in 2020 and coordinated by the prosecutor, which made it possible to reconstruct the organization chart of the mafia families of the Noce / Cruillas district which includes the mafia families of the Noce , Cruillas/Malaspina and Altarello.
POLITICAL-MAFIOUS ELECTORAL EXCHANGE. On 8 June 2022, personnel of the mobile team and of the central operational service – I division implemented a precautionary custody measure against 3 people, for a political-mafia electoral exchange.
On the occasion of the administrative elections of 12 June 2022, a candidate for the Palermo city council had accepted the promise of obtaining votes in exchange for the promise of benefits consisting of personal favors and the willingness to favor the interests and needs of the mafia association. This promise was the result of the pact stipulated with two subjects, one of whom was a participant and the other suspected of belonging to the Cosa Nostra.
ENTIRE MANDAMENT 2. On 19 July 2022, staff of the mobile squad and of the central operational service executed a precautionary custody order against 9 suspects (8 of whom in prison and one under house arrest), held responsible for various reasons for mafia and extortion with the aggravating circumstance of the mafia method as well as fictitious registration of assets.
The restrictive provision is the natural continuation of the one already carried out on 25 May against 9 other subjects, also responsible for various reasons for mafia-type criminal association and extortion aggravated by the mafia method, which made it possible to strike the top Walnut/Cruillas mafia mandate.
From the complex of the investigative activity, a circumstantial picture emerged in which the recipients of the arrest warrants are believed to be involved in the management of criminal activities carried out within the district, with particular reference to the regrettable action of the collection of protection money to the detriment of merchants of commercial activities, artisans and entrepreneurs in the area.
Operations against criminal gangs
Operation “Arab Zone”. On 2 July the police executed a precautionary custody order against 11 individuals, of whom 6 adults and 5 minors, believed to be members of a dangerous “juvenile criminal gang” called “Arab Zone 90133”. Those responsible are believed to be the perpetrators of multiple attacks between January 7 and June 15, some carried out with particular violence, through the use of broken glass bottles and sticks, against visitors to the city center of Palermo, including many minors. The events took place above all on weekends in places in the historic center where young people usually gather.
The investigations revealed that the members of the group were very active on Tik Tok, YouTube and in particular Instagram, with a profile called “arabzone90133”, through which they attested their belonging to a partnership of North African origin, affirming their dominance over the territory where they act. During the operation, 11 measures were issued: 5 measures of pre-trial detention in prison and one of house arrest, 2 measures of pre-trial detention at the Malaspina prison and 3 measures of placement in the community.
During the year, out of 44 cases of robberies, 44 people were arrested, seven of whom in flagrante delicto.
Here the table with the balance of the activity.
Provisions and public safety activities
Religious processions. The Palermo Police Headquarters has launched a control activity on the religious initiatives of the city and province to avoid any mafia-type backlash. Among the objectives to prevent, during religious processions, bows or other acts of reverence towards members of organized crime or subjects linked to the mafia in any case. A ban on parking near the street numbers was ordered and, in some cases, the route of the religious procession was changed when there was a risk of bowing in front of the homes of offenders for mafia acts. A total of 207 processions were monitored.
High Impact. To protect public safety and urban security, the “High Impact” model was promoted, targeted interventions on disadvantaged areas and with problems of high crime density, potentially more at risk, which constitute fertile ground for the proliferation of organized crime scenarios.
administrative police activities
The control activity carried out by the administrative team of the Pas division during the year allowed the administrative inspection of 63 public establishments (in addition to the 174 controlled in high-impact services) of which: 19 betting centres, 28 clubs nights, 16 restaurants.
During the checks, 655 people were identified and checked and the following were contested:
– 72 fines for administrative offenses for a total of €120,577;
– 2 sanctions for the administration of alcohol to minors between 16 and 18 years of age;
– 7 disputes for occupation of public land for a total of €1,211, with restoration of the places, returned to the public use for which they are intended, in addition to the accessory sanction imposed by the Suap of Palermo of closure for 5 days due to recidivism for 3 of the 7 cases.
In some circumstances, responsibilities of a criminal nature also emerged for which 38 people were reported to the judicial authorities. Particular attention during the inspections relating to the control officers in entertainment and public entertainment activities, noting the use of operators not registered in the prefect’s register, often because they lack the requisites (34 of the 72 administrative sanctions).
Territorial control activities
During 2022 it was highlighted that some types of crime take place in the main streets of the historic center of Palermo: via Maqueda, via Vittorio Emanuele, via Roma, piazza Castelnuovo. The rest of the episodes are concentrated in the vicinity of commercial establishments in the area (pharmacies, supermarkets, various shops) or in any case in the most peripheral areas of the city’s districts at greatest criminal risk. Arranged, therefore, a particular intensification of the control activities of the territory of the flying crews in those areas of the urban center most characterized by the criminal phenomena inherent in crimes against property and in the field of drugs, so that there was an increase in cases of arrest in flagrante delicto as well as interruption of the criminal action of the criminals as a result of emergency interventions connected to the occurrence of such crimes.
Here the list of interventions carried out.
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