21 arrested over 'Ndrangheta mafia dealings in Lombardy
MILAN - The police arrested 21 people on Tuesday as part of a wider investigation into alleged infiltrations of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia into political and business matters in Lombardy. During a press conference, attending attorney Ilda Boccassini stated that there was a “system of idleness” in the institutional structure of the area which was easily manipulated.
These arrests took place in the provinces of Monza, Milan, Pavia, Como and Reggio Calabria. The investigation is headed by the Procura of Monza, along with the Milan Procura for Anti-Mafia.
Alongside the 21 arrests, 3 people have also been placed under house arrest, and another 3 have been indicted. The accusations include mafia association, detention and abusive harbouring of weapons, drug-related association and corruption. According to the indictment, local ‘Ndrangheta in Monza that were involved predominantly originated from Reggio Calabria, and are responsible for creating heavy cocaine traffic and some episodes of violent extortion in Como. The precautionary measures against these individuals were signed by the GIP Peirangela Renda and Marco del Vecchio.
Among the arrested was the mayor of Seregno in Monza, Edoardo Mazza, who was also a member of Silvio Berlusconi's party Forza Italia. He was taken in by the Milanese police on charges of corruption. Mazza has commented that “we no longer know how to find a solution” to the problems in Serengo, but has previously stated that citizens need the support of “men in uniform”.
According to the inquiry, politics and the ‘Ndrangheta were linked by a “double string” (sic) policy; a contractor in Serengo would liaise with politicians in the area and create reports on the exchanging of favours from members of organised crime units. The inquiry notes that his role would have been critical in the election of Mazza, and that his aim was to get local politicians to agree on the building of a supermarket in Cologno Monzese.
According to news sources, the investigation, which began in 2010, has hit hard on the local ‘Ndrangheta clansmen in Lombardy.