Three arrested over Mafia extortion of industry leader

Local Confindustria leader forced to pay racket

Three arrested over Mafia extortion of industry leader

Trapani, September 5 - Italian police arrested three men for mafia extortion and attempted extortion against an industry leader and waste-sector businessman in the Sicilian town of Castellammare del Golfo, a coastal town east of Palermo, investigators said on Thursday. The victim, Gregorio Bongiorno, is a garbage-collection entrepreneur and the president of the Trapani chapter of the federation of industrial employers Confindustria. Investigators say Bongiorno was forced periodically to pay large sums of money to exponents of the local Cosa Nostra mafia from 2005 until a few days ago. Beginning in December of 2005, he was made to pay 10,000 euros to Gaspare Mule' who presented himself as a Mafia representative. The three men arrested for their part in the protection racket all were convicted in 2009 for belonging to Sicily's Cosa Nostra. Police handcuffed Mariano Asaro, 57, identified as a prominent member of the Cosa Nostra, Gaspare Mule', 46, and Fausto Pennolino, 51. Both Mule' and Pennolino were already under special surveillance by the law.

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