Rome

Camorra crime boss accused of massive environmental damage

'Dumped waste, poisoned water table made its way to food'

Camorra crime boss accused of massive environmental damage

Rome, December 10 - Italian anti-mafia prosecutors on Monday accused jailed Camorra crime boss Francesco Bidognetti of causing massive environmental damage after a company he controlled allegedly dumped toxic materials over a period of many years in an illegal site near Naples. Bidognetti, a boss of the Casalesi crime family in jail since 1993 in Parma, is accused of having poisoned water tables near Naples after illegally dumping more than 800,000 tons of garbage - in large part toxic - produced by companies in northern Italy. The dumping took place between the end of the 1980s and the midlle of the 1990s, according to prosecutors, and was carried out by a specially constituted, Camorra-controlled company called Ecologia 89. Prosecutors say evidence confirms that the Casalesi family is heavily involved in the garbage-disposal industry - especially in the handling of dangerous waste from other Italian regions. Roberto Saviano depicted the Casalesis in his critically acclaimed book Gomorrah, which was later made into a movie. He now lives under round-the-clock surveillance after receiving death threats. Aside from the environmental damage caused by the dumping, damage to human health is likely to have been equally serious as the poisoned water was used for irrigating crops and made its way into food production.

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