Sting operations reveal Mafia involvement in renewable energy (Is anyone really surprised?)

Quixotes Last Stand

Anthony Faiola — Washington Post — January 22, 2013

The seizure of a record 1.5 billion euros from a Sicilian businessman known as “Lord of the Wind” on the same day has put the spotlight on Mafia money-laundering through renewable energy ventures.

PALERMO, Italy — Inside a midnight-blue BMW, a Sicilian entrepreneur delivered his pitch to the accused mafia boss. A new business was blowing into Italy that could spin wind and sunlight into gold, ensuring the future of the Earth as well as the Cosa Nostra: renewable energy.

“Uncle Vincenzo,” implored the businessman, Angelo Salvatore, using a term of affection for the alleged head of Sicily’s Gimbellina crime family, 79-year-old Vincenzo Funari. According to a transcript of their wiretapped conversation, Salvatore continued, “for the love of our sons, renewable energy is important. . . . it’s a business we can live on.”

And for quite awhile, Italian prosecutors say, they did…

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