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MAYOR

Ischia mayor arrested over corruption claims

The mayor of Ischia, an island in the Bay of Naples, was arrested on Monday, alongside nine others, over allegations of corruption.

Ischia mayor arrested over corruption claims
Giuseppe Ferrandino, the mayor of Ischia, has been arrested on corruption allegations. Photo: Silvestro Fiore

Giuseppe ‘Giosi’ Ferrandino, a member of the ruling Democratic Party (PD), is suspected of taking bribes worth €330,000 from a local cooperative, CPL Concordia, Ansa reported.

His brother, Massimo, was also arrested along with officials from CLP Concordia, which employs around 1,800 people.

The arrests come as part of an investigation into alleged corruption related to the provision of natural gas to the island.

The probe found evidence of slush funds in Tunisia, allegedly created by CLP Concordia, that were used to pay Ferrandino and other officials for “favours”, Ansa reported.

It is also claimed that money was paid to members of the Camorra, the Campania-based mafia network, Ansa said.

The arrests come almost two weeks after Maurizio Lupi resigned as transport minister amid a public works corruption scandal.

Ferrandino’s arrest also follows the arrest last summer of Giorgio Orsoni, Venice’s ex-mayor, over bribery allegations related to the Moses flood barrier project.  

By Anna Pujol-Mazzini

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GERMANY

‘Ndrangheta fugitive arrested in Germany

Police in Germany have captured a fugitive member of the notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia organization.

'Ndrangheta fugitive arrested in Germany
A file photo of anti-mafia police carrying out a raid. Photo: Jacques Munch/AFP

Antonio Strangio, a mechanic nicknamed ‘TT’ due to his love of Audi cars, had been under house arrest in the town of San Luca, Calabria, when he fled on December 28th 2012.

Investigators tracked him down in Moers, a city near Duisburg, after gathering details of his whereabouts through wiretapped conversations with relatives in San Luca.

The 38-year-old faces a 19-month sentence for the fictitious registration of assets. It also emerged that he acted as a frontman for Pelle-Vottari, a clan of the 'Ndrangheta syndicate hailing from San Luca whose long-term feud with a rival clan, Nirta-Strangio, culminated with six people being killed in a mafia showdown outside a pizzeria in otherwise peaceful Duisburg in 2007. The massacre thrust 'Ndrangheta, deemed Italy's most powerful mafia organization, into the global spotlight.

German police said Strangio was alone and unarmed at the time of his arrest. He is expected to be extradited to Italy within 90 days.

Santo Vottari, a notorious Calabrian mobster wanted over the Duisburg killings, was captured in a tiny hideout in a flat in Benestare, close to Reggio-Calabria, earlier this year. He was one of 31 people sentenced to prison terms in 2009 in connection with the murders.