Five people were arrested for criminal association for the purpose of committing more crimes of crime aggravated against elderly people. The arrests arrived on Monday morning, in the provinces of Milan, Parma and Salerno. The military of the Provincial Command of Milan, with the collaboration of the territorially competent departments, have carried out an order of custody in prison, issued by the investigating judge of the Milan court at the request of the Public Prosecutor.
They are five Italians. One was free. Two were in jail in Parma and Eboli (Sa), one was a special guard with the obligation of signing and the other was put on probation to social services.
The anti-fraud task force in Milan
The activity is part of the initiatives undertaken by the Milan Provincial Command in 2015, to deal with a substantial increase in fraud against the elderly, for whose commission criminals often resorted to the figure of the "fake carabiniere". That year a task force was set up within the Investigative Unit, with the aim of making an in-depth analysis of the phenomenon at the regional level, identifying the main modus operandi of the scammers. The investigation ended with the Condor operation on 8 November, with the execution of 51 precautionary measures issued by the investigating judge of Naples at the request of the District Anti-Mafia Directorate.
Arrests by the Milan prosecutor's office
The investigations carried out in the present criminal proceedings are part of a wider investigative effort coordinated by the Milan Public Prosecutor's Office, which identified two specialized prosecutors, Giancarla Serafini and Lucia Minutella, from March 2018 under the direction of the deputy prosecutor Eugenio Fusco . Over the past three years, the Milan Public Prosecutor's Office, coordinating the investigations of the Carabinieri in Milan, has obtained 14 precautionary measures that have involved 25 people, prosecuting the perpetrators of as many as 129 scammers.
The survey, launched in May 2017, allowed the identification of a criminal group dedicated to fraud against the elderly, operating in northern Italy, with a base of operations in the province of Milan and closely connected, also due to parental restrictions, to the top of the macro association of the Condor operation. This criminal group, in fact, often wore gold jewelery stolen from Naples, where it later sold them exploiting the established criminal circuits highlighted with the Condor operation.
How the scams worked: the various roles
Within the association, the tasks were rigidly divided between the roles. There was the head of the organization, who recruited the telephonists, instructing them on the operational modalities, bringing every week the precious proceeds of the fraud crimes to Naples to monetize them. There were two telephonists, who contacted the victims by telephone, pretending to be a lawyer or a member of the police, reporting that a close relative of the victim was under arrest because he was involved in a road accident, explaining that payment of a sum of money in cash or the delivery of jewelry for his release.
There were two operatives, who went to the homes of the victims, in agreement with the telephone operator, presenting themselves as a person sent by the lawyer or the marshal, and materially withdrawing the money and / or the valuables. There was a treasurer (a suspect in a state of freedom and only a criminal association), who kept the profits of the criminal activity at his home, which he sometimes made available to the telephone operator to make calls to the victims.
There are 23 established scams
Together they would have committed at least 23 episodes of fraud (of which 18 were consumed / attempted in Milan and 5 in Turin) for an approximate value of 260 thousand euros. The investigation also made use of the statements made by another suspect, at the time arrested by the Investigative Unit of Milan for other connected crimes and already convicted in a proceeding extracted at 1 year and 6 months.