DIA seize 400 mln from ‘Mafia involved’ ex-Sicilian MP

Giuseppe Accanto

ROME – A total of 400 million euros has been seized by the special anti-Mafia agency DIA from the former Sicilian MP Giuseppe Acanto, allegedly linked to Italian Mafia gang Cosa Nostra, authorities said on Friday.

 The DIA have accused the 58-year-old, working in the Villabate area in Palermo, of managing the Mafia clan’s assets and announced that they have seized 400 million euros from his bank accounts and company shares.

 Moreover, judges in Palermo have labelled him “socially dangerous” and for this reason he will be subject to special surveillance for 4 years starting from 2018. According to DIA, during the nineties he carried out illegal business with Giovanni Sucato, the so-called “money magician”. The latter, after having tricked thousands of people including members of Cosa Nostra, disappeared with a huge fortune and was later found burnt inside his own car in 1996.

 In 1994 Acanto got away with his crimes thanks to the influence of prominent figures within the Villabate family, before promptly restarting commercial activity in which he created companies in the name of and on behalf of ‘honourable men’. According to investigators, he obtained privileged hearing inside the administrative commune in Villabate, which is currently being inspected for mafia infiltration, enabling himself to influence political activity. He occupied himself with developing every economic operation of the local mafia family’s interests such as the construction of the commercial centre.

 Accanto was a candidate in the administrative elections in 2001 on the Italian politician Biancofiore’s list with the support of Mafia member Mandalà. Although he wasn’t elected, he then managed then to achieve a seat on the Sicilian regional council.