‘Block mafia from re­build­ing’

Lesotho Times - - International -

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.

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