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Published On: Thu, Jan 24th, 2013

New report: Italian mafia deeply connected to renewable energy industry

More details point to deeper connections between the Italian mafia and the renewable energy industry.

Kinetic artwork windmill   photo/Brandon Jones

Kinetic artwork windmill photo/Brandon Jones

A report by the Washington Post shows that the country is still trying to rid organized crime from its wind and solar industry, especially as it calls into question government subsidies.

In 2010, the businessman Vito Nicastri, nicknamedre the “Lord of the Wind,” was arrested for associations with the Sicilian mafia, which is called the Cosa Nostra. 

The $1.9 billion worth of assets seized from Nicastri at the time included 43 wind and solar companies.

Back 2011 TIME Magazine reported some of the mafia’s involvement.

 

One legitimate investor in alternative energies, Moncada energy CEO Salvatore Moncada, twice denounced mob interference in his business — once in 2002, when he refused to be extorted and lived with a 24-hour police escort for 18 months, and once in 2009 when he alerted police to a mafia buy-up of the land around one of his wind-power plants. Moncada says his biggest worry today isn’t the mob or the threat of violence. It’s wringing out permission for the construction of his power plants from allegedly corrupt bureaucrats. “The mafia used to shoot,” says Moncada. “Today it doesn’t. So it’s become a lot less of a threat than the white-collar criminals.”

 The Washington Post  details some sting operations reporting:

“Uncle Vincenzo,” implored the businessman, Angelo Salvatore, using a term of affection for the alleged head of Sicily’s Gimbellina crime family, 79-year-old Vincenzo Funari. According to a transcript of their wiretapped conversation, Salvatore continued, “for the love of our sons, renewable energy is important. . . . it’s a business we can live on.”

Could there now be questions of Federal funding in these areas of energy.

The still-emerging links of the mafia to the once-booming wind and solar sector here are raising fresh questions about the use of government subsidies to fuel a shift toward cleaner energies, with critics claiming huge state incentives created excessive profits for companies and a market bubble ripe for fraud. – The Post

 

Sicily’s energy minister Nicolo Marino told the Post the country has lost a “vital opportunity for development” in renewable energy.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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