On July 13, 2012, the Italian Guardia di Finanza (a special police corp dealing with tax irregularities and financial crime) ordered the closure of a windpower plant in Isola Capo Rizzuto, a town in the province of Crotone, Calabria. The investigation, which was launched after several irregularities in the concession of the plant and in the financial acquisition of capital, revealed the involvement of the Arena family, a prominent clan in the local organized crime (regionally designated by the term “ndrangheta”). Thirty-one people are currently under formal investigation.
With its 48 power generators, the windpower plant “Wind Farm Isola Capo Rizzuto” was among the largest plants across Europe. Its overall value amounts to 350 million euros.
By no means an isolated case, the episode at Isola Capo Rizzuto seems to back the fears recently expressed about possible criminal infiltration in the booming business of windpower. Earlier this year, in May 2012, the governmental agency CNEL (National Council of Economy and Labour) issued a report warning about the potential for mafia infiltration in the booming sector of windpower. According to the report, 98% of the energy produced comes from plants based in Southern Italy. Sicily, Apulia and Campania are the leading regions; all three are characterized by the intense and deeply rooted activity of organized crime. The CNEL Report also notes that, between January 2007 and April 2011, there have been 17 investigations on windpower plants, involving 14 Offices of Public Prosecutors. As many as 126 precautionary custody orders were issued over the same period.
text [en] Germans arrested, wind farm seized in mafia raid – MafiaToday
text [en] Calabrian Mafia: 31 investigated and aeolian plant seized – MafiaToday
video [it] The closure of a windpower plant in Isola Capo Rizzuto – Corriere.it
text [it] Risk of Mafia infiltration in Windmill business – Adnkronos
text [it] Mafia: Guardia di Finanza closed a 350 windmill – Reuters.it
text [it] Ndrangeta behind windmill business – Corriere.it
text [it] Risk of mafia infiltration in windmill business – CNEL
text [it] Official DOcuments by CNEL