Tag Archives: italian wire taps

Deal with mafia not my son, Turkey’s Erdogan tells Italian judges

Erdogan told RAI television that the probe by prosecutors in the northern city of Bologna, where Bilal had been studying, might affect bilateral links. Erdogan, criticised in the West for the scale of a post-coup crackdown, told RAI: “Italy should be attending to the mafia, not my son. If my son came back to Italy at this moment, he could be arrested,”

Erdogan said in an interview with the state broadcaster. “This could even cause problems for our relationship with Italy.”Bilal, 35, went to Italy in 2015 to finish a doctorate. It was not clear when he left, but a legal source said he had been back in Turkey for some time. He denies wrongdoing.

In response, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Italy had an independent legal system and “judges answer to the Italian constitution and not the Turkish president.”The money-laundering investigation followed accusations by Murat Hakan Uzan, an exiled member of one of Turkey´s richest families and an opponent of the president, a legal source said.

Italian press reported prosecutors were looking into sums of money allegedly brought to Italy from Turkey. In July, a Bologna court allowed them to extend their investigation by six months.

Bilal’s lawyer Giovanni Trombini said his client declared that “all his economic and financial activity is totally transparent and legal, and the accusations are completely unfounded.”

Bilal, one of the Turkish president’s four children, has shipping and maritime assets and controls several oil tankers through his company and partnerships in other firms.

Sourced From – https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/139692-Erdogan-asks-Italy-to-check-its-mafia-not-his-son

FBI searches alleged Mafia member’s home in bid to crack 1990 art heist

Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 1:10 PM

A suspected Connecticut mobster may be in on the largest art heist in U.S. history — a $500 million mystery that has remained unsolved for 26 years.

FBI agents returned to the Manchester home of Robert Gentile Monday, marking the third time they’ve raided the 79-year-old alleged mob member’s house.

Federal prosecutors believe Gentile — who is currently behind bars for illegally selling prescription drugs and possessing guns — knows about the 1990 theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Thirteen pieces of art worth an estimated $500 million were stolen and never recovered. The swiped haul included the only seascape legendary Dutch painter Rembrandt ever painted, several paintings by Edgar Degas and one by Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch artist who left behind just 31 known works.

No one was ever arrested.

Federal officials declined to say why FBI agents went to Gentile’s home Monday. Gentile’s lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, also declined to comment.

“The FBI is conducting court-authorized activity … in connection with an ongoing federal investigation,” said Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston. “We will have no further comment at this time.”

Gentile has told authorities that he doesn’t know anything about the stolen paintings, and McGuigan has denied prosecutors’ allegations that Gentile is a made member of the Philadelphia Mafia.

But prosecutors said that locked-up Gentile has bragged about his knowledge of the paintings: He talked about the stolen works with at least three fellow prisoners at his Rhode Island jail, giving them information on who to call about the art and what code name to use.

Read Full Article – http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-searches-mafia-home-bid-crack-1990-art-heist-article-1.2623304

Anti-mafia campaigner in Sicily arrested on mafia-charges

An anti-mafia campaigner once hailed as a hero for blowing the whistle on organised crime has been arrested in Sicily on mafia-related charges.

Cement supplier Vincenzo Artale, 64, had publicly denounced efforts by local mobsters to extract protection money and had even helped founded an anti-mafia association a decade ago in Alcamo, the town between Palermo and Trapani where he had a small business.

But in the decade that followed, prosecutors allege Artale began using his anti-mafia façade as a cover for keeping shady local deals quiet, while doing business with some of Sicily’s biggest mafia bosses on the side.

“Yet again wiretappings have revealed that pretending to be anti-mafia is the perfect shield to mask businesses operating in the shadow of the mafia,” Teresa Principato, one of the prosecutors working on the case, told La Repubblica.

In 2006, Artale was lauded for his courage after he reported local Mafiosi who he said had tried to extort protection money from him. He was compensated  €250,000 from a state-run victim’s solidarity fund and founded a local anti-racket association.

But not long afterwards, prosecutors say Artale began working for a local mobster thought to be one of the key associates of the fugitive Cosa Nostra leader who is Italy’s most wanted man: Mattia Messina Denaro.

According to Italian reports, the gangsters struck a deal with Artale – he would shield them from exposure and in return they would force local construction companies to buy his cement.

His cement business boomed.  But Artale’s sudden wealth triggered suspicion among the townsfolk and soon his anti-mafia double agent game was up. Local builders joined forces to denounce that they were being intimidated to buy his cement, triggering the two-year-long investigation that led to his arrest Wednesday.

He is the latest of several high-profile Sicilian businessmen caught privately working with the mafia while publicly decrying organised crime.

Last year, the head of the Palermo chamber of commerce Roberto Helg, who had publicly denounced the mafia’s extortion practices, was secretly filmed taking a €100,000 bribe in exchange for a pastry shop’s retail space in the airport.

Sourced From  – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/03/31/anti-mafia-campaigner-in-sicily-arrested-on-mafia-charges/

Italian wiretaps suggest that Toronto is on the verge of a mafia war

October 29, 2015

The long tentacles of the infamous Calabrian mafia are causing trouble in Canada. According to Italian prosecutors, the Toronto outposts of the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate may be preparing for armed confrontation.

Wiretaps recorded by Italian investigators show that following a high-profile mob killing in a Toronto suburb in 2014, tensions between mafia families from Italy’s Calabria region are brewing, Canada’s National Post reports.

The conversations of an accused mob member who returned to Italy from Toronto “seriously highlight the danger of an escalation of an armed conflict within the coterie of ’Ndrangheta clans,” Italian prosecutors concluded, “particularly among the Coluccio and the Figliomeni (clans).”

The Italian prosecutors, who prepared a series of documents as part of a sweeping anti-mafia case, said the escalation follows the murder of Carmine Verduci, a big mafioso in the Toronto area. The prosecutors are cooperating with Canadian police.

The National Post spoke to Toronto law enforcement, who haven’t noticed any increased activity among Italian organized crime figures.

Earlier this year, Canadian police broke up a ‘Ndrangheta drug ring, arresting 19 alleged high-level members of the criminal network. According to The National Post, there are at least seven primary ‘Ndrangheta clans in Toronto, supplying a “continuous flow of cocaine.” The Calabrian mafia is among the most powerful criminal organizations in the world. According to one estimate, in 2013 the clans made more than McDonald’s and Deutsche Bank put together.

Read Full Article – http://qz.com/536460/italian-wiretaps-suggest-that-toronto-is-on-the-verge-of-a-mafia-war/