Mafia infiltrated Expo Milan, 11 arrested

 MILAN -- A revealed conspiracy, involving mafia collusion for the promotion of notorious group Cosa Nostra, during the Milan Expo in 2015 led to 11 arrests on Wednesday morning.  Those to finish in handcuffs, among others, included the president of Dominus Scarl Giuseppe Nastasi, his collaborator Liborio Pace and former president of the Nissena Criminal Chamber Danilo Tipo.

 Accusations include tax crimes at the centre, followed by money laundering, and criminal association with aggravation for mafia purposes.  Prior to the arrests 5 million euros worth of assets had been seized, including 400,000 euros in cash on a lorry travelling from Lombardy to Sicily.

 This is a significant case as it signals not “the infiltration of the ‘Ndrangheta, but Cosa Nostra” in Lombardy instead, which has not previously been evident according to the chief prosecutor on this case Ilda Boccassini.  She also highlighted that Nastasi in particular, had “ties to major gangs such as the leading figures of the Accardo family.”  She has also been vocal in requesting an immediate trial.

 Maria Cristina Mannocci, the investigating magistrate in Milan who ordered the arrests, explained that it was “clear” that a “mechanism such as that which emerged from this investigation was made possible by the larger businesses’ managers, consultants, notaries, and accountace who essentially ‘didn’t want to see’ what was happening around them.”

 She also talked of “severe superficiality,” but also adds that it’s, “certainly also thanks to convenience.”  The head of the Milan prosecution’s press conference Francesco Greek called it a "disturbing story," adding that, "criminal organizations have managed to fit in public subsidiaries. The survey has brought to light a money-laundering network abroad, for which we aim to fully unravel through letters with other countries. " He is also of the opinion that the arrests once again show "a close interconnection between mafia criminal organizations and economic crime."  “Criminal liability of Ente Fiera or Expo has not been indentified," clarified Boccassini.

 Those arrested are accused of having obtained 20 million euros worth of contracts for the Fiera di Milano in just three years through the umbrella company of Nolostand, where the consortium’s companies were registered in Nastasi’s name.  The companies implicated then used a series of false invoices to create illegal funds.  According to the indictment the money was then laundered in Sicily.