(ANSA) – Milan, September 12 – Italian steelworks company Riva Acciaio, which controls troubled Italian steelmaker ILVA, said all its operations had been halted as of Thursday, barring those being managed as part of the Taranto-based ILVA activities, according to a statement released by the company. Operations were halted in some seven plants where some 1,400 people are employed, Riva Acciaio said in the statement, adding that the decision had been made based on a seizure order from a Taranto court. The recent court-ordered seizures involved 916 million euros in assets and bank account holdings by the Italian finance police earlier this month as part of a probe into possible environmental damage caused by ILVA. The seizures were carried out Tuesday this week at 13 companies connected with the Riva Group, parent company of the southern Italian ILVA steel mill, the largest iron and steel producer in Italy, and the fourth largest in Europe. Police seizures were carried out in cities from Rome to Milan, Genoa to Cagliari, Modena to Bari, Naples, Lecco and Bergamo. Assets seized were evenly divided between goods and property, worth more than 456 million euros, and financial holdings including stocks and bonds. As well, about 100 vehicles were seized. Earlier in the day the Riva group had told trade unions it was laying off some 1,500 employees working in 13 companies it controls as of Friday this week.