Padua, October 26 - Italy's antimafia prosecutor Piero Grasso warned that northern Italy could be at risk of becoming a money laundering hub as financially struggling companies are in danger of being snapped up by those seeking to recycle funds of dubious origin. "It is a fact that some (crime syndicates) with extra funds, with liquidity, seek to infiltrate the healthy sectors of the economy with dirty money," Grasso said speaking at conference in Padua. "From this point of view the north and also the Veneto region are at risk". The city of Padua is in the Veneto region. "The risk is that mafia emissaries purchase companies that are suffering financially at rock bottom prices", he added. "We need to avoid this by keeping our eyes wide open and keeping the spotlight on strange phenomenon". Grasso went on to add that banks had an essential role in monitoring irregular activities as they were obliged to signal any suspicious activities to the authorities. photo: Antimafia prosecutor Piero Grasso.