• 3 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 8 minutes Why Is America (Texas) Burning Millions of Dollars Per Day Of Natural Gas?
  • 11 minutes Is $60/Bbl WTI still considered a break even for Shale Oil
  • 15 minutes CNN:America's oil boom will break more records this year. OPEC is stuck in retreat
  • 1 hour The Pope: "Climate change ... doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain."
  • 22 hours Hormuz and surrounding waters: Energy Threats to the World: Oil, LNG, shipping markets digest new risks after Strait of Hormuz attack
  • 1 day As Iran Nuclear Deal Flounders, France Turns To Saudi For Oil
  • 21 hours The Magic and Wonders of US Shale Supply: Keeping energy price shock minimised: US oil supply keeping lid on prices despite global risks: IEA chief
  • 2 hours Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman
  • 7 hours Russia removes special military forces from Venezuela . . . . Maduro gone by September ? . . . Oil starts to flow ? Think so . .
  • 1 day Never Knew Gasoline Prices were this important!
  • 13 hours Plants are Dying
  • 23 hours (Un)expectedly: UK Court Sets Assange U.S. Extradition Hearing For February 2020
  • 5 hours The Latest: Iranian FM Says US Cannot Expect To ‘Stay Safe’
  • 19 hours We Are Better Than This
  • 7 hours Emmissions up, renewables nowhere
  • 2 days Britain makes it almost 12 days with NO COAL
Alt Text

Oil Majors Are Missing The Renewable Boom In Asia

Renewables are booming in Asia,…

Alt Text

Renewables Are Set To Outprice Oil & Gas By 2020

Rapidly falling costs of renewable…

Jen Alic

Jen Alic

 

More Info

Trending Discussions

Renewable Energy, the Mafia’s Newest Playground

When the Italian authorities seized $1.7 billion in mafia-linked assets this week, many were surprised to see learn that the renewable energy industry is apparently becoming a favorite playground for the underworld.

The assets seized included 43 wind and solar energy companies, along with 66 bank accounts linked to mafiosa Vito Nicastri—also now known as the “Lord of the Wind”.

This came as a surprise only to those who haven’t been following the renewable energy industry in Europe closely. In 2010, Italian authorities froze Nicastri’s assets after an investigation turned up evidence that the Mafia was actually using renewable energy projects to launder money.

Nicastri, 57, is a colorful figure who has been linked to the “godfather” of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia, Matteo Messino Denaro.

Related article: Italian Anti-Mafia Police Seize €1.3 Billion from the King of Alternative Energy

Nicastri is now under house arrest and heavy surveillance and will remain so for the next three years while authorities make the case against him. He is accused of declaring only a fraction of the value of his alternative energy business in his taxes.

The uncomfortable truth for Italy is that its high-ranking status as an ambitious installer of renewable energy programs—particularly wind—has been achieved on a significant level in the underworld. The country generates more than 5,000 megawatts of wind energy from nearly 300 wind farms.

What has attracted the Mafia to the renewable energy scene? That’s easy: lucrative government subsidies for the construction of wind farms and a fairly lax regulatory system. Geography has also played a role: The wind farms are largely in the country’s south where the Mafia enjoys a strong presence and where they control much of the land. These farms—and other subsidized renewable energy projects—are convenient venues for laundering money.

Related article: The Mafia is Moving into Renewable Energy

As reported by Agence France Presse, Arturo de Felice, head of Italy’s anti-mafia agency, said the renewable energy sector in one “in which money can easily be laundered. Operating in a grey area helped [Nicastri] build up his business over the years.”

The Italian asset seizure is likely to bring more scrutiny to the renewable energy business—as well as subsidy programs—across Europe. And certainly Italy isn’t the only venue where Mafia is taking advantage of state-supported renewable energy ambitions.

According to Sarajevo-based ISA Intel, which conducts investigations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, there is also emerging evidence that the Greek underworld is dabbling in renewable energy as well, laundering money from oil smuggling and other criminal operations through subsidized renewable energy projects.

By. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • James Rust on April 05 2013 said:
    Since the Mafia knows how to use good business models on investments in Italy, it would make sense that its sister-organizations in the United States may be making similar investments. Renewable energy programs in the United States rely on government subsidies for construction and operation and government mandates that users of renewable electricity must pay higher rates for electricity. This is figuratively an economic way of using a "baseball bat to break a leg".

    Wind and solar farms seem a good way to hide illegal money and should be examined in the United States. One problem may be the U. S. government may have sympathies with the Mafia because they support U. S. government activities. Through crony capitalism the U. S. government promotes a reverse Robin Hood theory of taking money from the poor and giving it to their rich supporters.

    James Rust, U.S.A.

Leave a comment





Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News