Dienstag, 18. November 2008

Police hold billion euros belonging to mafia ‘cashier'

ROME - Italian police are holding one billion euros (1.25 billion dollars) of assets belonging to a jailed businessman accused of serving as a ‘cashier’ for the Sicilian Mafia, a statement said Tuesday.

Working on a court order issued in Trapani, northwest Sicily, police Tuesday seized assets worth 700 million euros in addition to 300 million euros already confiscated from supermarket supply baron Giuseppe Grigoli after he was arrested in December 2007, the regional anti-Mafia office said.

The assets are being held as a preventive measure, it said.

Grigoli, accused of criminal association, was thought to act as the ‘cashier’ for fugitive mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro.

Grigoli's name was on one of many scraps of paper known as ‘pizzini,’ used for high-level communication by the mafia, found in the possession of former supremo Bernardo Provenzano, who was arrested in 2006.

Denaro is widely thought to have replaced Provenzano.