Italy makes mafia arrests linked to Expo project

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2014 1:26 PM

MILAN (AP) — Police have detained 13 people in a mafia investigation that showed how the southern 'ndrangheta mob allegedly infiltrated bidding for contracts related to Milan's world's fair.

The 2015 Expo, meant to pump hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) into Milan and showcase a financially healthy Italy, has already been tainted by a major bribery scandal.

Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said Tuesday that some 450 million euros ($573 million) in subcontracts related to the construction of highways for the Expo went to companies controlled by 'ndrangheta.

She said a jailed 'ndrangheta boss removed himself from the company leadership, transferring his shares to a relative, and the company got the contract and an "anti-mafia certificate" from Milan's prefect.

The investigation showed how deeply the southern 'ndrangheta mob has infiltrated northern Italy's financial powerhouse.