Police seize assets worth 1.3 billion in record Mafia blitz

Operation targets clean-energy businessman Vito Nicastri

Police seize assets worth 1.3 billion in record Mafia blitz

Palermo, April 3 - Anti-mafia police on Wednesday seized assets worth over 1.3 billion euros belonging to a Sicilian businessman thought to have links with Cosa Nostra in the largest operation of its kind ever to be carried out in Italy. The operation involved 43 companies or stakes in companies, 98 properties, seven vehicles and 66 financial assets, including bank accounts, credit cards and life insurance policies, belonging to Vito Nicastri, a leading player in the clean energy sector. Investigators said the 57-year-old businessman from Alcamo, in western Sicily, ''maintained constant relations with members of Cosa Nostra'', the Sicilian Mafia, in the provinces of Catania, Messina and Palermo, as well as having contacts with the Calabrian crime syndicate 'Ndrangheta. This relationship allegedly ''facilitated his transformation from an electrician into a businessman specialising in the production of electricity from renewable sources, giving him a prominent position in the south (of Italy).

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