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Balla, Schifano works in Rome gangland kingpin haul

'Treasure trove' at Magliana Gang ex-boss's Trevi Fountain home

23 December, 14:59
Balla, Schifano works in Rome gangland kingpin haul (ANSA) - Rome, December 23 - Italian police on Monday found works by Giacomo Balla and Mario Schifano in a one-million-euro art collection in the home of former Rome gangland kingpin Ernesto Diotallevi overlooking the Trevi Fountain. Police said they unearthed a "treasure trove" of art spanning several centuries in the former Magliana Gang boss's house, which was impounded in a 25-million-euro assets seizure in November.

The Magliana Gang ruled Rome's criminal underground in the 1970s and '80s.

As well as the luxury 14-room residence in Piazza Trevi, a villa in southern Corsica and a complex of luxury townhouses facing the sea in Olbia, Sardinia were seized on November 13.

Diotallevi was arrested in July 2012 with 10 others, including a priest, on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

Investigators have been unravelling Diotallevi's vast patrimony of assets, previously hidden from justice authorities under borrowed names, shell companies, and family members. The name of the joint probe between finance police and Carabinieri ROS anti-mafia police - Operation 30 Years - paid tribute to the Magliana Gang's notorious three-decade trail of crime.

At its height, the gang controlled almost all lucrative criminal activities in Rome and the surrounding region of Lazio, as well as establishing alliances with various bosses of the Sicilian Mafia, according to the testimony of ex-mobsters-turned-informers.

Diotallevi was also implicated in the case of Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging under London's Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 in mysterious circumstances.

Italian prosecutors have claimed he was murdered after failing to pay back the Mafia, but no convictions have ever been made.

(ANSA) - Rome, November 13 - Italian police on Wednesday seized 25 million euros' worth of assets traced to a former boss in the Magliana Gang that ruled Rome's criminal underground in the 1970s and '80s.

Assets included a luxury 14-room residence in the piazza of Rome's famous Trevi fountain as well as a villa in southern Corsica and a complex of luxury townhouses facing the sea in Olbia, Sardinia.

Ex-Magliana Gang chieftain Ernesto Diotallevi was arrested in July 2012 with 10 others, including a priest, on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

Investigators have been unravelling the Diotallevi's vast patrimony of assets, previously hidden from justice authorities under borrowed names, shell companies, and family members, like his wife Carolina Lucarini and sons Mario and Leonardo.

Wednesday's blitz froze bank accounts and the stock and assets of seven companies, active in real estate, sporting and pleasure boats, electrical power, shipping, and asset management.

Among 42 properties seized was a luxury villa on Isola di Cavallo, off southern Corsica and just north of Sardinia's famous resort destination of Costa Smeralda, belonging to a Liberian company, in addition to the residence near the Trevi fountain and the townhouses in Olbia.

Other assets included nine vehicles and properties on the Adriatic coast near Pesaro.

Police also seized some additional 10 million euros worth of assets from Diotallevi in April.

The name of the joint probe between finance police and Carabinieri ROS anti-mafia police - Operation 30 Years - pays tribute to the Magliana Gang's long, notorious three-decade trail of crime.

At its height, the gang controlled of almost all lucrative criminal activities in Rome and the city's region of Lazio, as well as establishing alliances with various bosses of the Sicilian Mafia, according to the testimony of ex-mobsters-turned-informers.

Diotallevi is also implicated in the case of Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging under London's Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 in mysterious circumstances.

Italian prosecutors have claimed he was murdered after failing to pay back the Mafia, but no convictions have ever been made.

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