Historic Neapolitan pizzeria found to be front for mafia money laundering

   ROME -- Five members of the Contini Camorra clan have been arrested for allegedly running one of Naples’ most renowned pizzerias, according to police reports. 

  The ‘Dal Presidente’ pizzeria, located in the historic centre of Naples, earnt its name when it was founded by the pizza chef who catered for the former American president Bill Clinton. According to an investigation led by the Neapolitan Anti-Mafia District Directorate (DDA), it was reportedly being used for money laundering. Public prosecutors Alessandra Converso and Daniela Varone ordered the arrest of five people, with three in custody and two being placed under house arrest. The pizzeria, along with assets totalling 3.5 million euros have been seized.

  According to the DDA, Dal Presidente was purchased with the financial support and “protection” from a leading member of the Contini clan. Despite the sponsor later being imprisoned for drug trafficking, the Contini family continued to receive a portion of the pizzeria’s profits. Investigations found that the company was then led by the criminal sponsor’s brother-in-law, the head of a bakery business who also has a criminal record. 

  Investigations also revealed the fraudulent registration of an individual company operating in the tourism sector and seven valuable Neapolitan properties, which the previous owner was compelled to divest from due to coercive intimidation and physical violence. 

  The suspects were found to have reinvested 412,435 euros back into the restaurant and bakery businesses, as well as in real estate, which were purchased in cash from personal and corporate transactions. The money, real estate, and company shares have all been seized.