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Italy smashes mafia that defrauded EU of agriculture funds

ID:FR3U1XmM No.9428761 ViewReplyOriginalReport
Italian police arrested 94 people in pre-dawn raids on Wednesday (15 January) as part of an investigation into an alleged Mafia scam that defrauded European Union agriculture funds of millions of euros.

Prosecutors said they believed the fraud was orchestrated by two Mafia clans in eastern Sicily who obtained at least 5.5 million euros in EU farm subsidies for land they did not own between 2010 and 2017.

Amongst those arrested were the heads of the two families, a number of public officials who help farmers apply for EU aid, a local mayor and an accountant. Some 150 companies were also seized as part of the investigation.

“The Mafia (there) has such power that they took control of 15 hectares of land through a simple phone call. No threats were necessary,” Judge Sergio Mastroeni wrote in the arrest warrant.

“With the Mafia, you only have to say your name, if necessary mentioning the fact that you just got out of prison.”

Cont'd:
https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/italy-smashes-mafia-racket-defrauding-eu-agriculture-funds/