Italy's 'ecomafia' boss arrested in Naples

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Environmentalist group Legambiente said 10 million tonnes of industrial waste was dumped in Campania between 1991 and 2013. Photo: Mario Laporta/AFP
15:20 CET+01:00
Police on Tuesday arrested a mafia boss accused of being the mastermind behind two decades of illegal toxic waste dumping, which has been blamed for increasing cancer rates in the area around Naples in southern Italy.

Cipriano Chianese allegedly masterminded an extortion racket involving the waste transportation company, Mery Trans, which enabled him to oversee toxic waste dumping in the Naples area, Rai News reported.

SEE ALSO: Toxic mafia dumps sow panic near Naples

The businessman is accused of helping his brother, Francesco Chianese, take over the company in 2005, thus securing their domination over the waste trafficking.

Chianese’s alleged crimes date back to the 1990s, when he was first indicted for environmental damage and poisoning the groundwater in the Campania region.

In April, €82 million worth of the businessman's assets were seized as part of the investigation. Chianese had been living under house arrest before a new arrest warrant was issued this week, which saw him taken to prison.

Chianese is also thought to have promised €500,000 for the murder, which was never carried out, of a magistrate investigating toxic waste dumping, Rai News said.

Ten million tonnes of industrial waste was dumped around Naples between 1991 and 2013, according to environmentalist group Legambiente.

In November, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the city to protest the illegal dumping, following a rise in cancer rates in the area. 

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READ MORE: Thousands in Naples protest mafia pollution

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