Calabria, “mafia infiltration” in three companies. Thirteen suspects: also regional councilor Catalfamo. The majority of the center-left in the municipality of Reggio is targeted by prosecutors. “Favors in exchange for hiring”


From the Municipality of Reggio Calabria to the Region where the president Jole Santelli it took less than six months to meet with the first assessor investigated by the District Anti-Mafia Directorate. The “Helios” operation was triggered this morning which led to the decree that the judicial administration has for Avr Spa, the company that deals with the separate collection in the city of the Strait and road maintenance. The same provision was ordered by the Prevention Measures section of the Court against the “Ase – Autostrade service services to the Spa territory” and the “Hidro Geologic Line Sas”. The investigation, conducted by the police and coordinated by the Reggio Calabria prosecutor Giovanni Bombardieri and the deputies Stefano Musolino, Walter Ignazitto and Alessandro Moffa, risks causing an earthquake in Reggio and regional politics.

The junctions change, the waste collection companies are dissolved (before there was Leonia) but the system that links the gangs to “bad politics” remains the same. Reading the papers of the public prosecutor’s office, the feeling is that, on the banks of the Straits, yesterday as today the words assumptions, votes and contracts are synonymous. In fact, the DDA has hit several exponents of the center left, many of which are members of the municipal council of Reggio Calabria led by the mayor Giuseppe Falcomatà. In fact, in the register of suspects, prosecutors have entered the regional councilor for infrastructure Sunday Catalfamo, the former regional and provincial councilor Giovanni Nucera, the deputy mayor of Reggio Calabria Armando Neri, the city councilor for the environment Giovanni Muraca, the city councilors Antonino Castorina, Rocco Albanese, Filippo Quartuccio and the former mayor of Taurianova Fabio Scionti. The CEO of the Avr is also investigated Claudio Nardecchia, the managers in charge of the “Calabria Area” Enzo Romeo and of the “Environmental services” sector Veronica Caterina Gatto, the employees of the two companies Francesco Antonio Purrone (Avr and Ase) e Genoese lily (Avr). The latter two are also accused of external competition with the ‘ndrangheta.

In particular, according to the investigators, Purrone would have been “the interlocutor of the gangs” and would have facilitated “the infiltration of the companies colluded with the ‘ndrangheta – it is written in the indictment – in the construction works subcontracted or granted by the two Spas in the management and maintenance services for the provincial roads of Reggio Calabria “. The employee of the Avr Giglio, however, “facilitated the interests of companies colluded with the ‘ndrangheta in relations with the business unit dedicated to the waste collection service in the city“.

Everyone was notified of a notice of conclusion of investigations. As for politicians, according to the reconstruction of the carabinieri, they would have exercised undue pressure in order to obtain the hiring of reported personnel. For example, the former regional councilor Giovanni Nucera, the former non-elected candidate of the Democratic Party in the latest regional elections would have done so. But not only. The investigators have found episodes of corruption and abuse of office in order to facilitate the AVR in relations with the public administration. According to the DDA, in fact, there was a “mutual exchange aimed at ensuring various benefits for all the protagonists”. Usefulness that if for the politicians investigated it was the hiring of workers and the clientel management of company policies, for the two companies involved, it was to ensure an increase in profits by easing the controls on their work.

So here, from the investigation papers, it emerges that the deputy mayor Armando Neri allegedly exerted “undue pressure on the executives of the Avr company” by inducing the CEO Claudio Nardecchia and the manager Veronica Caterina Gatto “To give or unduly promise to him or to a third party the usefulness of hiring a worker he has recommended himself.” It didn’t matter if he was hired by the Avr or by the Axis. The contract of that worker would have meant for the deputy mayor Neri “to increase his’ political weight ‘and increase his electoral’ appeal”.

Embarrassing, moreover, some conversations in which the Avr administrator demonstrates all his deference to the politician from Reggio Emilia: “If you tell me I will do it … I will do this test immediately we will not wait two or three months and we will do it immediately … Armando you have to tell me. A word is enough for me. ” More than one was needed Filippo Quartuccio is Nino Castorina: more than young city councilors (the first is 28 while the second 35) they seem “old young” of the worst Calabrian politics. The first, in fact, asked “to promote his father Francesco Quartuccio (employee of the Avr) to team leader”. Failing, he sent three warnings to the environmental quality sector. Castorina, on the other hand, “asked insistently, through the Catalfamo executive (today regional councilor but yesterday municipal executive, editor’s note), the recruitment to AVR of ‘sponsored’ people”. Basically, “from his words – the magistrates write – it was understood that it was a consolidated practice, so that he asked for his part”. To put it to Castorina: “Who am I the fixed (fool)?”. Intercepted by the carabinieri, the former Renziano city councilor of the Democratic Party, whose name also appears in the anti-mafia investigation “Gotha”, explains his thought: “Since subjects … regional councilors for example … or … specifically … people like Mimmo Battaglia, like Seby Romeo (former regional councilors of the Democratic Party, ed) they involved people in there, and we … So since he rightly, legitimately … and attention and he did well … who am the fix? “.

The do ut des, for Castorina, seems to be the hiring manual, the “Cencelli” on which he studied since he was a boy when he was a gallop for local politicians. For some years his turn has come and he claims it forcefully when he finds resistance to his claims: “I tell you that this is not normal. Also because they have done well to the Municipality, I’m telling you the truth. That is, we must be sincere “. Retaliation is always around the corner. The Avr executives explain this when they comment on Castorina’s attitude among themselves: “He concluded by saying that last year he did not put the money on the budget for maintenance because of your … behavior“.

He is also named in the investigation Forza Italia MP Francesco Cannizzaro (who is not under investigation), cousin of the regional councilor Catalfamo. The story is that of companies, linked to the gangs, who work with the Avr. In an interception of 19 May 2014, the Roman entrepreneur Claudio Nardecchia tells the manager Veronica Gatto that he is “covered” in the Reggio Calabria area under the influence of the De Stefano gang. “From other conversations – it is written in the decree of the Tribunal – the willingness of the AVR managers to find a ‘balance’ with the gangs operating in all areas of the province of Reggio Emilia has emerged”. The tool was that of subcontracting granted to several companies, some of which had problems working in the mafia territories. One of these, according to the investigators, “was” sponsored “by the politician Francesco Cannizzaro”. The same suspects say it in an interception recorded by the carabinieri: “These are all (the last) arrived … who are sponsored by a politician … what is this name called? … what is the cousin of Catalfamo called? … the commissioner above? … eh … Cannizzaro”. “We have found a systematic facilitation of subjects related to the gangs. – is the prosecutor’s comment Giovanni Bombardieri – The territorial expansion of Avr was determined precisely by this ascertained permeability of the company to the interests, on the one hand, of subjects referable to the gangs of ‘Ndrangheta and, on the other, to those of’ ‘bad politics” and administration “.

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