Cosa Nostra 'maxi trial' begins into EU funding scam

'Nebrodi Mafia' on trial with top professionals in Messina area

(ANSA) - MESSINA, MAR 2 - A 'maxi trial' opened in Messina Tuesday into how Cosa Nostra clans scammed millions of euros of EU farming funds in the Nebrodi area of Sicily.
    The 'Nebrodi Mafia' trial sees 97 people in the dock including Cosa Nostra bosses, 'respectable' professionals, and soldiers of the clans.
    Messina prosecutor Maurizio de Lucia broke up the Nebrodi Mafia and found they had fraudulently obtained huge sums in EU funding.
    The trial has targeted historic clans in Tortorici, a town in the centre of the Nebrodi, the Batanesis and the Bontempo Scavos.
    They allegedly got "rivers of EU funding," de Lucia said, with the help of a notary public and officials at the local commercial agricultural centres.
    The two clans buried their differences and, instead of fighting each other, teamed up to parcel up cast plots of land in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy to qualify for the EU funding, the prosecutor said.
    "This scam deprived honest operators of huge public resources and gravely polluted the legal economy," he said. (ANSA).


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