Italian authorities have seized $1.7billion (£1.1bn) worth of renewable energy assets which are linked to the mafia, it was reported yesterday.
The country’s anti-mafia agency repossessed assets including 43 wind and solar energy projects, 98 properties and 66 bank accounts owned by Vito Nicastri, the so-called ‘king of wind’.
Italian police believe the 57-year-old businessman from the region of Trapani on Sicily is close to fugitive crime boss Messina Denaro, who is suspected to be the head of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia.
Arturo De Felice, Director of anti-mafia body the DIA, who led the investigation which started in Sicily but spread to three further regions, suggested the scale of money involved given the tough economic environment was no “trivial matter”.
He said: “We continue to look for the large estates of the Mafia… to corner Matteo Messina Denaro.”