Sicily Mafia ring busted for gambling-tax fraud

Police officers among suspects

Sicily Mafia ring busted for gambling-tax fraud

(ANSA) - Caltanissetta, October 9 - Police on Tuesday arrested 21 people, including five law-enforcement agents, on various charges in connection with the use of mafia-controlled gambling equipment that had been specially modified to cheat the taxman. The suspects included a police chief, a high-ranking prison guard, two finance police officers and a municipal police officer, as well as three brothers from the local Allegro Mafia family thought to be at the centre of the ring. The latter are accused of illegal competition with violence, aggravated threats, computer fraud, embezzlement and aiding and abetting the Mafia by monopolising the local gambling sector with their own fraudulent gaming devices. Some five million euros worth of assets belonging to the Allegro family have also been seized, including companies, properties, vehicles and bank accounts. The local preliminary-investigations judge also ordered the temporary suspension of business in 21 bars and recreation centres implicated in the probe. In addition, other finance police officers, bank employees and civilians working for the interior ministry have also been placed under investigation.

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