But under investigation, the big names of the Municipality and the Metropolitan City of Reggio Calabria end up: the deputy mayor and with responsibility for the Environment of Reggio Calabria Armando Neri (Pd), the policeman lent to politics Giovanni Muraca, former Environment Councilor now responsible for the Works public; the group leader of the Pd Municipal Council and member of the national party management Antonino Castorina, the metropolitan councilor delegated to culture Filippo Quartuccio (Art.1) and the city councilor dem Rocco Albanese, as well as the former mayor of Taurianova, Fabio Scionti. Two Avr employees, Giglio Genoese and Francesco Purrone, are also under investigation for external competition in the mafia association.
Cuore reggino, registered office in Rome, has been part of Avr since 2011 also ASE (Autostrade service – services to the territory s.p.a.), which the Calabrian-Roman holding company acquired from the Italian Autostrade group. An operation that allowed Avr – seized today by the carabinieri of Reggio Calabria, following the investigation by the anti-mafia prosecutor – to get their hands on important contracts and works, including the global service contract for the Florence artery- Pisa-Livorno, the extraordinary maintenance services of the signs for Aeroporti di Roma SpA, recurrent maintenance on Italian motorways, as contracts in Poland.
The accusations against politicians
Active in six regions in Italy and abroad, certainly in Calabria, Avr had very unscrupulous methods. For prosecutors Stefano Musolino, Walter Ignazzitto and Alessandro Moffa, who directed the investigation coordinated by chief prosecutor Giovanni Bombardieri, the holding company did not hesitate to come to terms with businessmen close to the clans as with politics, which often imposed hiring on society and career shots for selected employees, useful in the future to acquire votes and consents. The deputy mayor Neri did it silently – say the carabinieri -, with public protests the commissioner Muraca, threatening complaints, complaints and storming the company with requests for clarifications the former regional councilor Giovanni Nucera. The former mayor of Taurianova Fabio Scionti instead pushed for two employees, including Francesco Purrone, who allegedly later acted as a liaison between the company and the entrepreneurs colluded with the clans. But politicians also have families and if they can, they remember them. The metropolitan councilor Filippo Quartuccio committed himself primarily to the father, an employee of the company, to whom he made a career, while the city councilor Rocco Albanese spent himself on his son, Sebastiano. To pass their requests instead, the municipal councilor and national director of the Democratic Party, Nino Castorina, plenipotentiary of the Budget sector for investigators and investigators would have threatened the company to cut funds and orders. The objective, reads the papers, “to obtain a more compliant attitude towards his and other Metropolitan City administrators’ requests regarding staff recruitment, sponsorships and more”.
The councilor “at work” for the company in exchange for services and favors
“He worked” instead for the company, the current councilor Catalfamo, at the time pro-tempore manager of the Viability-Transport sector of the Metropolitan City, as well as sole manager of large contracts entrusted to the subsidiaries of Avr, Gaga and Ase, as the third lot of the Gallico Gambarie road, and the assignment of works, services and supplies for the maintenance and integrated management of the provincial road network. Catalfamo – investigators say – on the one hand conveyed the requests of politicians and administrators, but on the other it pleaded the cause of Avr to public bodies or provided the company with information and confidential information. A service that is anything but free. In exchange, she asked and obtained the availability of two cars with a driver for the transport of people necessary for the organization of the party for the eighteenth birthday of her daughter, that the Avr vehicles and staff would bring her a treadmill at home and an arrangement of a week in Milan for the daughter of the wife of the then president of the Raffa Province. After all, the company considered it important. “If the relationship of trust with Catalfamo is broken – commented the president of the board of directors Nardecchia with his manager in Reggio Romeo – he closes … he finishes the contract”. That of the current regional councilor – emerges from the investigation – was a “barycentric” role, which with conviction he had been playing for years even outside the office, organizing private meetings between the top management of society and the political leaders of the province, at the time led by President Giuseppe Raffa. For the magistrates, “therefore, the existence of a stable partnership was established in which the managers of Avr S.p.a. they were committed to guaranteeing the private interests of public administrators, so that they had a more loose attitude in the controls imposed on the S.p.a. and more sensitive to his needs for profit amplification “.
Relations with the clans
But also towards the ‘Ndrangheta, the Avr had a more than soft attitude. “Companies related to the aforementioned criminal association have been repeatedly and culpably facilitated – the magistrates write – by entrusting the execution of works, in the business branch dedicated to the construction and maintenance sector: while, in the business branch of the Spa, operating in the cleaning sector, the interests of some subjects expressing the Ndrangheta have been facilitated “. And if only the clan companies always worked on Jonica and Tirrenica, in Reggio city the historic city gangs were “pampered”, starting from the De Stefano clan, who for the repentant actually managed to manage the company.
“The Avr – says the collaborator Vincenzo Cristiano – responds to De Stefano, the one who came out because he was good and had a degree … Caponera. He commands for any type of situation, any type of problem that he is around, like if they touch a van. If you noticed they never burned a van, they never shot a van, because he answers Giuseppe … Demetrius … what’s his name? De Stefano … what came out now for merit, let’s say why he graduated “. And Caponera was hired – after specific agreements – by Hidro Ecologie, then chosen by Avr for the cardboard and plastic recycling service previously assigned to another company. A mafia protection that even the president of the board of directors Nardecchia, intercepted, confirms. Shortly after a damage suffered in Melito Porto Salvo he confessed to a collaborator, “is the point where we are most discovered. because … for better or worse around Reggio we are a little more … how to say “.
After all, the ‘Ndrangheta Avr did more of a favor. Over time, he has always or almost chosen clan-related companies, to which he has also almost doubled the value of the contract while the work has decreased. And when the anti-Mafia interdictive to put them out of the game came, the holding seized today looked for businesses that with the previous ones were in line of continuity, such as the single-member Magi of Giuseppe Maduli, which came into play when the father Biagio’s business went to the foot. in the air and he ended up under investigation and then sentenced as a figurehead of the clan Pesce. Business that the company has undertaken to protect even when the formal protests of another subcontractor arrived, who complained of Maduli’s interference. And “it was not a quisque del populo” write the carabinieri, because indicated “as a subject recommended by a politician identified by the p.g. in Francesco Cannizzaro, then councilor of the Municipality of Santo Stefano d’Aspromonte and current deputy, moreover cousin of the manager of the Municipality of Reggio Calabria Domenica Catalfamo, directly involved in the events relating to the Avr “., called into question together with the ex Senator Antonio Caridi, currently on trial for mafia.But in the course of the entrepreneurial history of the Avr in Calabria there are also works, contracts and favors with Domenico Pelle, exponent of the homonymous clan and his companies, with Leonardo Capogreco, subcontractor before AVR and then ASE, arrested in September 2014 for port and possession of weapons, aggravated by the mafia concession, with Domenico Laurendi, considered an exponent of the Alvaro gang, who in 2009 obtained the assignment of the maintenance of about 200 km of provincial roads for the total remuneration of 20 million euros in the pre-pre-Montan area of ”competence” of the clan. As regards the unitary ‘Ndrangheta, the favors that Avr was willing to do were unitary.