‘Block mafia from rebuilding’
LONDON — Italian authorities must ensure the mafia is blocked from playing any role in reconstruction after the earthquake that killed nearly 300 people, the country’s top anti-mafia prosecutor has said.
Franco Roberti, the head of Italy’s national anti-mafia directorate, said organised crime operations had been notorious for infiltrating construction contracts after the 1980 Irpinia earthquake near Naples in which more than 2,400 people died. He said steps must be taken to ensure this did not occur after the 6.2-magnitude quake that devastated central Italian towns including Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto last week.
“There are risks, it is useless to hide it,” Roberti told the Italian daily La Repubblica. “The risk of infiltration is always high. Post-earthquake reconstruction is a tasty morsel for criminal organisations and business interests.”
Roberti said that faulty construction by the Naples Camorra had also played a role in the death and destruction at Irpinia.
There were also allegations that the Calabrian mafia or ’Ndrangheta was implicated in construction contracts after the 2009 L’aquila earthquake. A local entrepreneur, Stefano Biasini, and two others are currently on trial for helping the mafia obtain reconstruction contracts, with a sentence due in September.