Italy raids target mafia moves on wind, solar farms
Italian police on Friday arrested six people in an operation to combat the penetration of mafia families in the renewable energy sector in Sicily.
Police said mafia bosses had obtained contracts to build photovoltaic and wind energy systems in Palermo, Agrigento and Trapani.
Some of the money they made went to fugitive mafia chief Matteo Messina Danaro, currently one of the world's top wanted criminals.
The six people arrested are suspected of mafia association and corruption.
The mafia has been heavily involved in renewable energy in Italy for years.
In July, the police seized a giant wind farm allegedly built by the 'Ndrangheta organised crime group in Calabria in southern Italy.
In 2010, police seized a record 1.5 billion euros from a Sicilian businessman known as the "Lord of the Wind" in an investigation that first threw the spotlight on mafia money-laundering through renewable energy.
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. Several cars and a catamaran were also seized and bank accounts frozen.
(c) 2012 AFP