Naples ex-industrial area sequestrated over 'fake clean-up'

21 people under investigation for 'false' environmental clean-up

Naples ex-industrial area sequestrated over 'fake clean-up'

Naples, April 11 - A Naples preliminary investigations judge on Thursday ordered the sequestration of a former industrial area in Bagnoli on the outskirts of Naples as part of a probe into the alleged 'fake' environmental clean-up of sites previously occupied by a steelworks and a cement plant. Twenty-one people have been placed under investigation in connection with the probe, including former managers of the company Bagnoli Futura, a public company tasked with overseeing a recent 107 million-euro environmental clean-up operation at the site, and of various local territorial agencies. Investigators claim their actions compounded existing environmental problems in the area due to an alleged ''generalised conflict of interest''. ''All the public authorities appointed to monitor the clean-up, such as ARPAC (the Campania regional environmental protection agency) and the Naples municipal and provincial governments, came to visit,'' prosecutors said. Consequently, not only was the environmental clean-up only carried out ''virtually'' but it also allegedly led to the ''mixing of dangerous pollutants across the entire area, exacerbating ground pollution compared to pre clean-up levels'', they continued. The prosecution is considering pressing charges for state fraud and deception in connection with the issue of false certificates attesting the clean-up as a result. The preliminary investigations judge has ordered ''a detailed plan of action aimed at cleaning up and securing'' the sequestered areas.

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