'Ndrangheta, railway contracts in the shadow of the clans: sentences reduced on appeal in Crotone


By John

Ten convictions, of which 8 were reduced compared to the first instance trial (which took place with the abbreviated procedure), and 4 acquittals. This is what the Milan Court of Appeal decided yesterday at the end of the trial resulting from the “Double Track” investigation by the Milanese DDA which hypothesizes the interference of the Arena-Nicoscia-Capicchiano gang of Isola Capo Rizzuto in the works on the country's railway network.
The Attorney General's Office had asked for all 14 defendants to be convicted. Instead, the panel chaired by Donatella Banci Buonamici, in addition to exonerating 4 defendants, confirmed the sentences inflicted by the Milan magistrate on 16 January 2023 only for Maurizio Aloisio (7 years in prison) and Francesco Aloisio (4 years and 8 months). Then, in relation to six other accused, he excluded the aggravating circumstance of mafia intent (Gianluigi Petrocca, Angelo Mancuso, Domenico Riillo, Leonardo Villirillo, Nicola Pittella, Francesco Catizzone). The accusation of promoting the 'Ndrangheta association was dropped for Alfonso Aloisio. But sentenced to 1 year and 8 months in prison, he was recognized as a member of the clan. The “sole” charge of participation in the alleged criminal organization also fell to Antonio Aloisio sentenced to 1 year and 8 months.
The operation, which began on 11 February 2022 with 15 arrests carried out by the Finance Police, would have demonstrated the ability of the hypothesized Aloisio-Giardino business-criminal group, active between Milan and Varese, to grab – between 2014 and 2020 – the maintenance interventions on the Italian railway network contracted by RFI (offended party), in the shadow of the Arena-Nicoscia-Capicchiano gang of Isola Capo Rizzuto. The brothers Alfonso, Francesco and Maurizio Aloisio, close to the Isola clan by kinship, would have been the de facto administrators of the companies which, under the regime of “disguised subcontracting”, would have supplied the workforce to the large companies that won the RFI tenders. Furthermore, as established in the first instance, “the family relationships between the accused” and “the ties of multi-year collaboration between them and the publicity of certain judicial events” would have highlighted “clearly the existence of an awareness” on the part of the hypothesized criminal association (which would have had its hands on the modernization works) «of being part of an organization» led by the Aloisios, «owners of completely peculiar links with the 'Ndrangheta». Furthermore, according to the investigators, the workers recruited mostly from Crotone and Isola Capo Rizzuto were forced to work in “exploitative conditions”.

The sentences

Maurizio Aloisio sentenced to 7 years (7 years in the first instance); Francesco Aloisio, 4 years and 8 months (4 years and 8 months); Antonio Aloisio, 1 year and 8 months (6 years and 6 months); Alfonso Aloisio, 1 year and 8 months (4 years and 2 months); Gianluigi Petrocca, 2 years and 6 months (4 years and 4 months); Angelo Mancuso, 2 years and 4 months (3 years); Domenico Riillo, 3 years and 2 months (4 years and 2 months); Leonardo Villirillo, 5 years and 4 months (6 years and 4 months); Nicola Pittella, 10 months and 7 days (1 year and 4 months); Francesco Catizzone, 1 year and 4 months (1 year, 9 months and 10 days). The acquittals: Antonella Petrocca (in first instance 3 years and 4 months); Roberto Riillo (1 year and 4 months); Luigi Taverna (1 year and 4 months); and Francesco Ferraro (1 year, 9 months and 10 days). They were defended by lawyers Luigi Villirilli, Roberto Coscia, Mario Nigro and Fabrizio Salviati.