Milan - A European arrest warrant was issued against Fabio Riva, business man and son of Emilio Riva - owner of the steel manufacturer ILVA of Taranto - who is currently living in London. This is the second arrest order after the one issued in 2012 as a result of an investigation for environmental disaster. This time, the warrant was not issued by the Taranto judges, but by the authorities in Milan. In this case, however, we must wait for the British judiciary’s decision concerning the extradition request. The exec is currently on bail in London.
According to the investigation of Milan prosecutors Francesco Greco, Stephen Civardi and Mauro Clerici, Fabio Riva , vice president of Riva Fire , the holding company of the Ilva Group, is accused of conspiracy and aggravated fraud against the Italian state. According to the order for pre-trial custody, signed by the investigating magistrate Fabrizio D’Arcangelo, between 2007 and 2013, the businessman had set up, together with a few other managers of the group, a system by which he managed to obtain approximately 100 million euros in illegal state subsidies. Yesterday, the authorities ordered the seizure of 200 million euros from Fabio Riva and Riva Fire.
According to the investigation, Fabio Riva and other managers had created an ad hoc company with headquarters in Switzerland , the Ilva Sa, to circumvent the law (aka the “Ossola” Law ) that regulates the supply of public subsidies for companies that export abroad . According to this law, companies that have foreign contracts and receive payments with a substantial delay (from 2 to 5 years), can receive funds from Simest, a company which is controlled by the Deposits and Loans Fund. Ilva, according to the indictment, was not entitled to have these funds, because the company was paid for its contracts with delays of no more than 90 days. The investigation showed that the Swiss company took its orders abroad and then interfaced with Ilva SpA. The payments from the Swiss company to Ilva were delayed in order for the latter to benefit from the legislation on public funds.
Apart from Fabio Riva there are four more people against which warrants have been issued: Agostino Alberti, Director of Riva Fire, Alfredo Lomonaco and Barbara Lomonaco of Ilva SA and Adriana Lamsweerde of Eufintrade, a Swiss holding company. This is the third of a series of probes into the dealings of ILVA Group, by the Milan Prosecutor: last May, after the first stage of the investigation was complete, the seizure of 1.9 billion euro was authorised for the crimes of fraud against the State and artificial asset transfers. Investigators are also looking into the relationship between Emilio Riva’s holding company Riva Fire and the subsidiary Ilva in order to assess the possibility of embezzlement to the detriment of the minority shareholders.