Isola di Capo Rizzuto
|Isola di Capo Rizzuto|
|Comune di Isola di Capo Rizzuto|
Palazzo Barracco, the town hall
|Province / Metropolitan city||Crotone (KR)|
|Frazioni||Campolongo, Capo Rizzuto, Le Castella, Sant'Anna, Le Cannella, Marinella|
|• Mayor||Carolina Girasole|
|• Total||125 km2 (48 sq mi)|
|Population (February 28, 2007)|
|• Density||120/km2 (310/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Madonna Greca|
Despite the name Isola (island), the town is entirely on the mainland. There are several theories about the name, which may derive from Greek mythology or may be a corruption of a Greek word. Geographically the seaside district of the town of Capo Rizzuto is a peninsula. Elsewhere the main historical attraction, the powerful 16th-century fortification in the district of Le Castella, stands on piece of land connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway.
In 1977 the archaeologist Domenico Marino discovered and excavated a site on the Capo Piccolo promontory with important Early Bronze Age II and Middle Bronze Age I-II artifacts of Minoan origin, demonstrating early trade contact between the eastern Mediterranean and Italy. The finds are on display in the National Archaeological Museum in nearby Crotone.
The town forms part of the Marine Protected Area Capo Rizzuto.
Stronghold of the 'Ndrina Arena
Isola di Capo Rizzuto is home to the powerful Arena clan that belong to one of Italy's most powerful mafia groups known as the 'Ndrangheta. The 'Ndràngheta (Italian pronunciation: [(n)ˈdraŋɡeta]) is organized crime centered in Calabria. The 'Ndrangheta has had a remarkable ability to establish branches abroad, mainly through migration. The overlap of blood and mafia family seems to have helped the 'Ndrangheta expand beyond its traditional territory.'Ndrine are most commonly reported to be operating in northern Italy, Australia, and Canada. Known by the name "The Honoured Society," the 'Ndrangheta controlled Italian-Australian organized crime all along the East Coast of Australia since the early 20th century. 'Ndrangheta operating in Australia include the Sergi, Barbaro and Papalia clans. Similarly in Victoria the major families are named as Italiano, Arena, Muratore, Benvenuto, and Condello, where Francesco Arena led the Arena clan.
Arena clan takes over the 'Island of the Wind'
There is also a wind farm "Wind farm" in Isola di Capo Rizzuto (Crotone) among the goods for 350 million euros seized by the finance guard of Catanzaro under the operation called the island of the wind. All recoverable, the properties seized, to an important part of the 'Ndrangheta of the Calabrian province, that of the Arena family. The park is among the largest in Europe for extension and power delivered.
The interveners were the financiers of the Gico of the Tax Police Headquarters, at the disposal of the Dda di Catanzaro and the measure also concerns the companies associated with the realization and management of the park. The seizure recipient is Pasquale Arena, an official of the Isola City, a grandson of the old head of the homonymous Nicola Arena (currently under 41 bis) and Carmine's brother, who was killed in bazooka strikes in an aggressive mafia in October Of 2004.
Pasquale Arena, clandestine operator - According to Yellow Flames Investigation, the investment to build the park would be "to be attributed to the cosmic arena of the Arena cosmos" and Pasquale, considered the clan's clandestine operator, He would have cared for the economic interests as longa manus of the clan itself.
The sequestration is the result of a previous investigation, always conducted by Catanzaro's Finance, aimed at verifying the incidence of organized crime in the economic-financial operation related to the construction of the wind farm of Isola Capo Rizzuto.
Arena clan running Europe's largest Migrant Centre
Tens of millions of euros in public funds destined for migrant reception centres in Italy have allegedly been syphoned off in one of the biggest mafia scams of recent times, it has been claimed.
More than 68 people were arrested in the dawn raids carried out by Italian authorities on Monday – including the parish priest and the head of the Catholic association managing one of Europe’s largest migrant and asylum seeker reception centres in the Calabrian town of Isola di Capo Rizzuto.
“The welcome centre was the cash machine for the ‘Ndrangheta clan,” said Carabinieri General Giuseppe Governale.
The sting, dubbed "Operation Jonny," is said to have involved more than 500 law enforcement agents, many of whom are believed to have worked long periods undercover to secretly record and expose the alleged infiltration of the Arena family, one of the ferocious 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate clans, into the lucrative area of migrant management. The Isola di Capo Rizzuto migrant and asylum seeker reception centre on the Calabrian coast near Crotone is one of the largest such reception points in Europe, capable of hosting up to 1,600 people. Of the more than 103 million euros in EU and Italian funds directed to the centre between 2006 and 2015, approximately 36 million euros were syphoned off by the Arena family or otherwise misused, Italian police have said.
The head of the Catholic Misericordia association that operates the centre, Leonardo Sacco, is accused of helping the clan land contracts for catering services at Isola Capo Rizzuto as well as at a centre on the island of Lampedusa, two of first places in Italy where migrants are brought onto European soil after being rescued at sea.
The skimming resulted in a scarcity of food and sub-standard meals, prosecutors maintain.
“There was never enough food and we even filmed the quality of food: it was the kind of food we usually give to the pigs,” said the Catanzaro prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, one of Italy’s toughest anti-mafia magistrates.
“There were companies set up purposely for food service and with that money they bought theatres, cinemas, apartments, land, cars and luxury boats.”
Even the town’s parish priest, Father Edoardo Scordio, is accused of taking €132,000 (£110,000) in 2017 alone for services related to “spiritual assistance” at the centre.
Yet National Anti-Corruption Authority czar Raffaele Cantone said he believed the operation may have “only revealed the tip of the iceberg.”
About 175,000 people are currently housed in Italy’s reception centres, where the state provides food, clothing, language lessons, health care and a small amount of pocket money. More than 45,000 people have arrived this year alone, a 44 per cent increase from the same period in 2016. But, as part of their investigation, the Crotone prefecture said it appeared the official number of people recorded at the centre was inflated so that management could skim funding from the state for “ghost” migrants.
The Arena clan had already been busted once back in 2012 after police seized €350 million worth of assets, including one of Europe’s largest wind farms.
But they were not the only mob family targeted on Monday. In a separate bust that unfolded in Milan on Monday morning, police seized assets and detained associates of the Sicily-based Laudani mafia clan for allegedly infiltrating the German supermarket chain Lidl.
Prosecutors ordered that four management sections of the retail giant – those overseeing approximately 200 stores across the country - into state administrators' hands after discovering the mafia had allegedly been paying bribes in exchange for the supermarket’s logistics and transport contracts.
Lidl Italia maintained its innocence, noting it was not under investigation itself and was cooperating with the authorities.
Comune di Isola di Capo Rizzuto [official website, in Italian]
Media related to Isola di Capo Rizzuto at Wikimedia Commons
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