‘Ndrangheta, false invoices for over 20 million: 33 arrests

The investigation coordinated by the Dda of the Brescia Public Prosecutor’s Office

A round of fake invoices for over twenty million euros, with the proceeds laundered to finance the activities of the clan of the ‘Ndrangheta of the Arena family of Isola di Capo Rizzuto. This emerged from an investigation by the carabinieri and the financial police of Bergamo, coordinated by the Dda of the Brescia Public Prosecutor’s Officewhich led to the issuing by the investigating judge of the Court of Brescia of a personal and real precautionary custody order against over thirty people, considered seriously suspected, for various reasons, of criminal association, with the aggravating circumstance of having facilitated the activities of a well-known cosca ‘Ndranghetistica of the Crotone area, in relation to usury, receiving stolen goods, money laundering, self-laundering, fraudulent transfer of values, aiding and abetting, as well as tax and bankruptcy crimes.

In particular, the provision provides for the precautionary custody in prison or under house arrest against 33 suspects and the seizure aimed at confiscation of over € 6.5 million. At the same time, dozens of searches are underway in 12 provinces between Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont, Umbria, Sardinia, Basilicata and Calabria.

The operation – the press release issued by the Carabinieri and the Finance Police reveals – was born from an investigation by the Carabinieri on extortion conducts adopted in the Bergamo area by some subjects, considered to be connected to the Calabrian ‘ndrine. With the involvement of the yellow flames, for the economic-financial investigations, the investigators were able to reconstruct the fake invoicesobtained – according to the investigators – through at least seven ‘paper mills’, registered in the name of nominees or compliant entrepreneurs, with offices in Lombardy, Umbria and Calabria.

Among the suspects there are also some accounting professionals, who through their consultancy would have “conceived and implemented serial models of tax evasion for the benefit of companies related to the criminal association”. Furthermore, an official of the Revenue Agency is among the recipients of a personal precautionary measure. He is being investigated for corruption, because – according to the investigative hypothesis – “in the face of systematic compensation” he would have “made himself available to facilitate the provision of some tax-related services” requested by one of the accountants.

The investigative activities, also carried out through constant monitoring of the movements and meetings on the territory of the various subjects involved, also made it possible to bring out evidence about usurious conduct reported by some entrepreneurs in difficulty.