The mayor of the Calabrian town of Villa San Giovanni, Giovanni Siclari, as well as Antonino Repaci and Calogero Famiani, chairman and the chief executive officer of the roro and ferry shipping company Caronte&Tourist Spa respectively, were among a dozen suspects arrested yesterday in a major operation carried out by local police and anti-mafia investigators in Reggio Calabria, Italy.
They are accused of corruption, collusive tendering, aggravated fraud, embezzlement and, for one of them, also external mafia association. Investigators believe the managers promised money to local administrators in exchange for favours for Caronte&Tourists, investigative sources report.
The shipping company’s managers in particular, with the support of the mayor, are accused of illicitly obtaining control over an area of land for a project.
Caronte&Tourist owns and operates 29 roro and ropax ferries across two main business segments, providing maritime links across the Strait of Messina and to the Minor Islands in the region. Earlier this year the company welcomed as a minority shareholder the UK-based investment fund Basalt Infrastructure, which took a 30% stake.