"Lord of the Wind"
A week ago, I wrote about the Italian Mafia infiltrating the renewable energy industry and using it to do what it usually does (laundering money, fraud, controlling who gets construction contracts, etc). Well, it didn't take long for new developments to surface: Police officers have arrested a renewable energy exec and seized "1.5 billion euros worth of assets [!!!], including 43 wind and solar energy companies" because of alleged mafia ties.
Shamelessly recycling the picture that I used in my previous post about the Mafia and wind power. What can I say, I like it... Photo: The Godfather
You Know Your Industry is Mainstream When the Mafia Wants a Piece...
The seizure of a record 1.5 billion euros from a Sicilian businessman known as "Lord of the Wind" has put the spotlight on Mafia money-laundering through renewable energy ventures.
"The Mafia use clean energy to invest dirty money," Sicilian journalist Lirio Abbate told AFP after police confiscated the assets from businessman Vito Nicastri on Tuesday.
The haul included no fewer than 43 wind and solar energy companies and around 100 properties including swank villas with swimming pools in Sicily's western Trapani region, along with cars, a catamaran and bank accounts, the interior ministry said. (source)
Vito Nicastri is accused of taking advantage of Italy's high feed-in tariffs and poor government oversight to create new companies and recycle dirty cash. "Anti-mafia investigators said Nicastri has links to Matteo Messina Denaro, considered the current supremo of the Sicilian Mafia, or Cosa Nostra." Mr. Nicastri is well known nationally in that industry.
Via AFP, Renewable Energy World
More on Alternative Energy
The Italian Mafia is Making Money with Wind Power
Carbon Nanotube 'Light Funnel' Could Make Solar Panels More Efficient
Could Subway Trains Generate Power with Regenerative Braking?