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Italy seizes billions in suspected Mafia goods

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 7:13am
The Associated Press

Italy's top security official says police have seized a record €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) from a Sicilian businessman suspected of Mafia association.

Interior Roberto Maroni called it the "the biggest seizure of assets" during an appearance on an Italian private TV station's morning show.

Anti-mafia investigators in Rome say in a statement released Tuesday that the businessman is suspected of laundering money for the Sicilian Mafia. It says the seized assets include dozens of companies operating in solar and wind energy, bank accounts, real estate, luxury cars and a 45-foot (14-meter) catamaran.

Investigators allege Trapani businessman 54-year-old Vito Nicastri had close ties to Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro and involved the Mafia in renewable energy.

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