Carabinieri general arrested on corruption charges

General Liporace

  ROME -- Carabinieri General, Oreste Liporace, and Lazio based entrepreneur, Ennio De Vellis have been placed under house arrest on charges of corruption, the Public Prosecutor's Office have said.

  On Thursday morning in Milan, the Preliminary Investigation Judge Domenico Santoro ordered house arrest for Liporace and De Vellis. Twelve other people are under investigation, including brothers Massimiliano and William Fabbro, entrepreneurs who were awarded the Carabinieri School contract in 2019.

  Liporace, Head of Public Relations Office within the General Command of the force, was suspended on Thursday following his arrest. From 2017 to 2019, he served as provincial commander of the Carabinieri in Padua, commanding the regiment school, Salvo D'Acquisto, until 2021 when he became brigadier general.

  The phones which were seized as part of the investigation in May 2022 contain chats which corroborate witness statements and highlight the contract between the Carabinieri School and the Fabbro entrepreneurs of four types of bribes paid to General Liporace. The Fabbro brothers paid 22,000 euros which were disguised as fees for the rental of a guesthouse in the outskirts of Rome. Liporace also received Louis Vuitton bags on three occasions, worth 11,300 euros. The former general was given tickets for football matches at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, in addition to tickets for a show at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

  In a note from Prosecutor Marcello Viola, it explains that De Vellis and Liporace are under investigation “for the crimes of trafficking in illicit influence, issuance of invoices for non-existent transactions, bribery and disturbed freedom of incantations" which are “focused on illicit allocations of funds and public contracts in exchange for money and other benefits, as well as through the concertation of economic entities fictitiously participating in tender procedures."

  "Searches and acquisition of documents are underway in various provinces of Italy, at public entities, individuals and companies in various capacities involved in the events subject to judicial investigation."