New blow to the extortion racket, three arrests in Palermo

The Carabinieri of the provincial command of Palermo executed a preventive custody order, issued by the judge at the request of the District Anti-Mafia Directorate, against 3 people (2 of whom are in prison and one under house arrest), accused, in various capacities, of mafia association and extortion aggravated by the mafia method. The measure stems from investigations conducted, from 2021 to 2023 at the request of the Dda led by prosecutor Maurizio de Lucia, on the mafia family of Corso Calatafimi. The clan, which is part of the “Pagliarelli” district, systematically controlled extortions against the merchants of the area.

The investigations, which in January 2023 already led to the arrest of 7 people during the anti-mafia operation “Roccaforte,” conducted by the investigative unit of the provincial command of Palermo, would have identified the new leader of the mafia family of Corso Calatafimi who took power after the arrest, in 2020, of his predecessor.

From the investigations, it emerged that the “family” systematically managed the extortion racket. The requests for money to the victims intensified as the Christmas and Easter holidays approached. The money extorted from the merchants in the area of Corso Calatafimi went to feed the association’s coffers and partly was destined to the maintenance of the honor men detained and their families.

The mafia family, according to investigators, showed that they knew how to exercise constant control over the territory, monitoring closely the commercial activities in the area, identifying in advance those of new opening and approaching the owners even before the start of the business, forcing them immediately to comply with extortion requests and resorting to explicit threats in cases where they did not promptly comply.

“The operation today presents a picture in line with the most recent investigative findings,” said a statement from the Carabinieri, “that of a mafia not at all resigned to defeat, but instead maintaining full operational capacity and capable not only of instilling generic fear in victims but also of using physical force as an extreme form of territorial control, as in the case of a young man savagely beaten in broad daylight with a wooden club because he was deemed guilty of infidelity towards his wife.”

Nuovo colpo al racket delle estorsioni, tre arresti a Palermo

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