The Italian fraud squad discovered that a supposed non-profit association was selling t-shirts for €20 through an webshop for customized t-shirts, and promising to send the money to the local council in Amatrice. Amatrice was the town worst hit by the earthquake on August 24th.
Council employees told the police that they had not authorized the campaign. The non-profit organization does not exist, police say.
The t-shirts featured drawings of the nearby mountains and Amatrice’s famous bell tower, with its clock stopped at 3:36, the time of the earthquake, according to Il Tempo.
Police are investigating the case as fraud, but so far have not identified any suspects.
The majority of the 291 people who died in the 6.2 magnitude earthquake were from Amatrice. directly after the quake, Mayor Sergio Pirozzi declared that “our town does not exist anymore.” Since then he has vowed to stay and help rebuild.
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Meanwhile, heavy rain has exacerbated the misery of those living in the earthquake zones, and has made life difficult for schools forced to teach in tents and other temporary structures.