Genova - The case of a strange shipwreck is debated before a judge: a yacht from Genoa, was sailed off shore and made to sink, staged by its owners for insurance money. The judge calls those present to the stand, but the principal defendant, a businessman who lives in the Milan area, is absent. After some moments of awkwardness, the request for legitimate impediment was made.
Antonino Lugarà, 64, is arrested; a businessman from Calabria, resident in Brianza, who survived in the 1990s an assassination attempt with Kalashnikovs (which he answered with pistol fire), stands accused of being the ‘ndrangheta boss who controlled the City of Seregno, which the Prefect of Milan yesterday requested be governed by an external commissioner.
THE FALSE REPORT
The investigation, conducted by Public Prosecutor Paola Crispo, concerns the sinking of the “Angi 1”, owned by Giuseppina Linati, Lugarà’s wife (represented in this case by the attorney Federico Figari). The accident never convinced the experts from Allianz Spa, whose suspicions were aroused by the marks on the hull, which made them think of anything but a chance event. The boat, which is 23m long, was insured for €2 million. What had not been clarified until yesterday, is whether the ‘ndrangheta was behind this incident. The fraud took place four years ago.
On 16 April, 2013, Lugarà himself appeared at the Carabinieri station of Portovenere to report the theft of the boat: “He falsely claimed that the recreational craft had been stolen.” But in reality, during the previous days, as the military has reconstructed them, the businessman had devised a false shipwreck, together with two Genoese fishermen: Luciano Angrisani, 61, the “accomplice”, and Paolo de Luca, 53, the sailor who offered his fishing boat as a support vessel (they were assisted by the attorney Andrea Sighieri and Angelo Paone). The couple got the keys to the yacht, took it out from Genoa, and damaged it so as to make it sink. But the boat was identified by the crew of another ship, and the subsequent coast guard operation brought the fraud to the surface.
Allianz brought a civil case against the fraudsters and also asked for damages because of “the huge financial damage and general discrediting” [of the company] that the episode has caused.
“SAN LUCA IN MILAN”
Lugarà was arrested in the round-up ordered by Assistant Prosecutor Ilda Bocacassini the day before yesterday, which led to the arrest of 27 individuals. In the intercepts, the Mafiosos spoke of “redoing San Luca (that is, the ‘ndrangheta’s main office) in Milan.”
Among them was also Edoardo Mazza, the mayor of Seregno, who appeared in web photos with scissors in his hand, asking for those who commit acts of sexual violence to be castrated. This is a centre-right politician, who according to the investigators was controlled by the Calabrian families, who guaranteed him electoral support and in fact had him replaced with a commissioner.
A photo shows Lugarà at an election drinks event organised in the Tripodi Mafia clan’s premises with Mazza and Mario Mantova, the former vice president of the Region of Lombardy, who has also been investigated for corruption. The “local” Lombard ‘ndrangheta branch handled drug trafficking, contracts, and politics. But if necessary, they don’t turn their noses up at any way of making easy money. As the shipwreck that took place in Liguria four years ago proves.