The Messina clans are betting on EU money and, according to what emerged from the Ros and Finance investigation which led to the arrest of 94 people today, they would have unduly pocketed European funds for over € 5.5 million, making a mark hundreds of scams to the Agricultural Disbursement Agency (AGEA), the body that provides EU funding to agricultural producers.
The historic clans of Tortorici, country of the Nebrodi, the Batanesi and the Bontempo Scavo, who thanks to the help of a compliant notary and officials of the Agricultural Commercial Centers (CCA) who instruct the practices for access to European contributions to agriculture, have cashed rivers of money.
To learn more, read also: The mayor of Tortorici also arrested
Instead of waging war, the two clans allied themselves, virtually dividing up the plots of land, in very large areas of Sicily and also outside the region, necessary for grant applications.
"This, – writes the investigating magistrate who ordered the arrests at the request of the DDA of Messina – with serious pollution of the legal economy, and with the deprivation of huge public resources for honest operators".
The scam was based on the identification of "free" land (that is, for which no applications for contributions had been submitted). CCA employees who had access to databases often reported useful plots. The availability of the land to be indicated was obtained either by requiring the real owners to enter into false rental contracts with the nominees of the mafia or through false notarial deeds. On the basis of the fake availability of the particles, accomplices were instructed by the accomplices to request the sums which were then credited to the nominee boss of the bosses often on foreign accounts.
"The fraudulent perception of the sums – writes the investigating judge – was possible thanks to the compliant contribution of white-collar workers, AGEA collaborators, a notary, managers of the CAA centers, who had the necessary know-how to provide for the infiltration of mafia crime in the vital ganglia of these mechanisms for providing public expenditure and who knew the limits of the control system ".
There are two clans involved in the maxi: that of the Bontempo Scavo and that of the Batanesi, both historical and rooted in the Tortorici area, on the Nebrodi. Both gangs have a family base: the investigation "affects" in fact entire households.
According to the investigators, the Batanesi and the Bontempo Excavations would have chosen not to make war but to share business: like that of scams to the EU through false headings of dozens of lands to be used to obtain contributions for agriculture. The two families would therefore be in a phase of armed truce, "even if the desire to clean up the competitor always lies under the ashes", the magistrates write.
The prominent characters of the investigation are, for the Batanese, Sebastiano Bontempo called the guappo, Giordano Galati known as Lupine, Sebastiano Bontempo, "the blond" and Sebastiano Mica Conti. All have served very heavy sentences for mafia, Mica Conti also for murder. After expiating the penalties, they were released from prison and returned to the top of the clan.
The leaders of the "family" of the Bontempo Scavo involved are: Aurelio Salvatore Faranda and the brothers Massimo Giuseppe and Gaetano. The investigation also ended entrepreneurs and some unsuspected: such as the notary, Antonino Pecoraro, accused of external competition in the mafia association, who would have done false deeds to make a series of land acquired for usucapion, the ownership of which served the "families" for ask for EU contributions, and the owners of a series of Agricultural Shopping Centers in the area.
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on European funds and on "free" land appeared first on Palermo-24h.
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