Rome, drugs and kidnappings: Prosecutor’s office closes investigation into Leandro Bennato

In total, 7 people were investigated in the investigation coordinated by the Capitoline District Anti-Mafia Directorate

Kidnapping for the purpose of extortion and detention for the purpose of trafficking of 107 kilos of cocaine. With these accusations Leandro Bennato and one of his accomplices risk ending up on trial after the Rome Prosecutor’s Office closed the investigation. The prosecutors Giovanni Musarò and Erminio Amelio, coordinated by the deputy prosecutors of the Capitoline anti-mafia district directorate Michele Prestipino and Ilaria Calò, accuse Bennato of the charge of kidnapping for the purpose of extortion in relation to three different episodes committed between November and December of last year to recover a large quantity of narcotic substance that had been stolen from him. Bennato, whose name also appears in the investigation papers into the murder of Fabrizio Piscitelli, alias ‘Diabolik’, was stopped last April by the Carabinieri of the Rome Investigative Unit who conducted the investigations.

The investigations

Bennato, part of the criminal context active in the Casalotti and Boccea area, is accused, together with Elias Mancinelli, of being the ‘owner’ of 107 kilos of cocaine then stolen from Gualtiero Giombini who kept it for them. Following the theft of the drugs, Bennato allegedly kept Giombini segregated for several days inside a barrack, deprived of his clothes despite the cold temperatures, repeatedly beaten to make him reveal useful information to recover the stolen cocaine and freeing him only after having indicated the name of Cristian Isopo as one of those responsible for the theft. Giombini died a few weeks after being kidnapped last December. ‘According to the indictment of the prosecutors, Bennato acted as ”instigator of the kidnapping and ‘director’ of all the executive phases, from the moment in which Giombini was deprived of personal freedom, until the moment of his release, ordered by the Bennato himself only when he ascertained that Giombini could not provide further information to allow the recovery of the stolen drugs”.

Isopo too then, according to what emerged from the investigations, was kidnapped for twelve hours inside the same barrack in which Giombini was segregated, tied to a chair with electrician’s ties and beaten repeatedly until he worked to give him back 77 kilos of stolen cocaine. A third case of kidnapping concerns two women, carried out with the aim of obtaining the return of another 7.7 kilos of the drug shipment. One of the two women was freed after about 8 hours because, according to what was reconstructed by the investigations, she had been mistakenly kidnapped due to her homonymy with her cousin. In addition to the drugs, for the release, approximately 165 thousand euros had been ‘returned’, proceeds from the sale of another part of the stolen narcotics. At risk of trial, in addition to Bennato and Mancinelli, there are 5 other people under investigation for the aggravated theft of cocaine and possession for the purposes of dealing.