Italian anti-mafia police arrest "king of wind" in EUR 1.3bn raid

ITALY: More than EUR 1.3 billion in assets have been confiscated from a Sicilian wind and solar energy developer alleged to have close ties to organised crime, anti-mafia investigators said.

Vito Nicastri, dubbed the “king of wind” by anti-mafia investigators
Vito Nicastri, dubbed the “king of wind” by anti-mafia investigators

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Stakes in 43 companies, nearly 100 properties and 66 bank accounts, credit cards and other financial investments were among assets seized earlier this week traceable to Vito Nicastri, a 57-year old native of Alcamo, Sicily.

Nicastri, dubbed the "king of wind" by anti-mafia investigators, is alleged to have been in constant contact with the Sicilian mafia and to have been a front man for none other than Matteo Messina Denaro, a mafia boss who has been on the run for two decades.

Investigators said Nicastri's close and constant relations with Cosa Nostra, as the Sicilian mafia is known, had helped explain the former electrician's rise to become a leading figure in the Italian wind sector. Nicastri is also charged with having close relations with the 'Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia.

Nicastri has been the subject of previous probes looking at infiltration of organised crime into the wind energy sector. He has now been placed under surveillance and cannot leave Alcamo for the next three years.

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