nine arrests, seized shares of the pizzeria chain Tourle


A photo of the Tourle pizzeria in Melegnano, one of those involved in the investigation (from Facebook)
in the picture: A photo of the Tourle pizzeria in Melegnano, one of those involved in the investigation (from Facebook)

The hands of organized crime, in particular the ‘Ndrangheta, are expanding on activities related to the catering sector in Lombardy and Piedmont. This is what the State police of Milan reconstructed, which in the early hours of the morning of Friday 8 November performed aprecautionary custody order against nine people between Lombardy and Piedmont. The suspects, all Italians, are accused in various ways of criminal association and fraudulent transfer of values. The investigation was coordinated by the deputy prosecutor of the Milan District Anti-Mafia Directorate, Alessandra Dolci, and directed by deputy prosecutor Sara Ombra. The investigations, conducted by the agents of the Anti-crime Division and by the policemen of the Milanese mobile squad, allowed to shed light on one of the mechanisms through which organized crime, specifically the 'ndrangheta, reinvests the money that is the proceeds of illegal activities in business legal, in particular the large catering circuit in Northern Italy.

At the center of the association to commit a convict close to Calabrian gangs

The mechanism is carried out by subjects who, according to the investigators, are contiguous to Calabrian gangs. This is the case of a well-known convict, Giuseppe Carvelli, to which the company shares of a famous chain of pizzerias, Tourle, could be traced according to investigators. These are famous places especially for the so-called "pizza tour" (a formula that allows you to order, by paying a fixed price, different types of pizza over the course of an evening), spread through the franchising formula throughout Northern Italy, from Emilia Romagna to Liguria, passing through Piedmont and Lombardy, where there are over fifteen restaurants.

Just Carvelli, in the past investigated with members of some 'ndrangheta gangsters, according to the investigators would be the head of the criminal association disrupted by the investigation: a complex system of fictitious headings of goods and companies with the aim of sheltering from justice and from the tax authorities the patrimony illicitly accumulated over time, using uncensored subjects, even from the family circle. The man, already a recipient in 2008 of a seizure order for the purposes of confiscation of assets of illicit origin for a value of over two million euros, would have invested over the years huge sums of money, always of illicit origin, in the business of pizzerias with "giropizza" formula. From the first Heigun pizzeria in Bovisio Masciago (in the province of Monza and Brianza), he would then create together with associates in 2014 Myob srl, a company specially created for the management – with the franchising commercial formula – of the Tourle brand. Myob srl, in addition to continuing to manage the brand, currently holds direct participation shares in some Tourle premises.

What are the pizzerias seized

The judge for the preliminary investigations of the court of Milan Natalia Imarisio, who issued the personal precautionary measures carried out in the provinces of Milan, Turin and Monza and Brianza, also ordered the preventive seizure of the share capital, company shares and entire company assets of six companies attributable to the suspects for a value of approximately 10 million euros. Four of these companies own as many restaurants-pizzerias that can be traced back to the famous Tourle franchise brand: Pmg srl (which manages the Sesto San Giovanni store), Cologno food srl (which manages the Tourle in Cologno), Torino food srl ( that manages the restaurant in the Piedmontese capital), the Milan food srl (which was supposed to manage the Tourle in via Ripamonti in Milan, never opened) and F&G Immobiliare srl.

Also seized the shares of the Lincoln hotel in Cinisello

Another company seized is instead the owner of a hotel, the Lincoln of Cinisello Balsamo. According to the investigators, the society in question refers to some Calabrian relatives of the main suspects, who have long been residents of Cinisello. One of the suspects, because of his precedents, had asked for and obtained the complicity of his family to evade the legal provisions on confiscation and patrimonial prevention: he had moved his residence abroad, while his family, also in quality of wooden heads, they took over the ownership and management of the hotel and also, for a short period of time, Cologno Food.

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