Italian police on Tuesday arrested mobsters, businessmen and local politicians who allegedly used corrupt practices and bribes to gain control of a project to build wind farms in Sicily.
Operation "Aeolus," named after the ancient Greek god of winds, netted eight suspects, arrested in the Trapani area of western Sicily, as well as in Salerno on the Italian mainland and in the northern city of Trento.
Police in Trapani said the local Mafia bribed city officials in nearby Mazara del Vallo so the town would invest in wind farms to produce energy.
The project, worth hundreds of millions of euros (dollars), was first devised in 2003 and later uncovered by an investigation that included wiretaps, police said in a statement.
Investigators discovered that luxury cars and thousands of euros in bribes were given to politicians to ensure that a Mafia-backed company won the lucrative public contract.
The suspects also illegally accessed the municipality's safe to copy the proposal of a rival company, which was later excluded from the bidding.
"All activities were controlled by these businessmen tied to Cosa Nostra," police official Giuseppe Linares told Italy's Sky TV. "Not only the construction of the plant, but also all the subcontracts for building materials: concrete, carpentry, electric systems and metal."
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Now I've Heard Everything
In Italy, green power is greed power: