Catania

Police seize assets from Sicilian 'supermarket king'

Sebastiano Scuto guilty of associating with Mafia

Police seize assets from Sicilian 'supermarket king'

Catania, May 15 - Police on Wednesday sequestered hundreds of millions of euros in assets linked to a disgraced businessman known as Sicily's 'supermarket king'. Sebastiano Scuto was sentenced by an appeals court last month to 12 years in prison for Mafia affiliation. He was convicted along with former police sergeant Orazio Castro, who was accused of passing information to the Mafia. The court heard that Scuto, 72, paid the Laudani clan for protection and help in expanding his independent supermarket franchises, which were part of the Despar chain. Besides the 12-year jail term, it also ordered the confiscation of all Scuto's property. Initially, the courts had sentenced Scuto to four years and eight months in prison, and had ordered just 15% of his goods confiscated. Scuto had argued that he was a victim, not a part, of the Mafia. Seizures of his property Wednesday were taking place in five Sicilian cities as well as in Salerno, Reggio Emilia, Monza and Milan.

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