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Extortion and deception of the elderly, international gang hit

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Extortion and deception of the elderly, international gang hit

A criminal association aimed at committing a plurality of serious crimes such as circumvention of incapable persons, extortion, receiving stolen goods and laundering of illicit proceeds was vanquished by the carabinieri of the operational department of the provincial command of Reggio Calabria and by Europol who carried out a precautionary custody order issued by the investigating judge, at the request of the Locri Public Prosecutor’s Office, against 16 people. Ten were placed in prison while 6 were placed under house arrest. The blitz started in Italy, Romania, Holland and Germany.

In the province of Reggio Calabria, three precautionary custody orders were carried out. The police forces of the respective countries have carried out 13 European arrest warrants issued by the investigating judge of Locri. The top management of the organization is located in Romania with operational bases in Calabria and, in particular, in the territories of Reggio and the Municipalities of Bianco, Melito di Porto Salvo, Siderno, Rosarno, Bovalino. The organization also had an articulation in Sicily, in the Municipality of Milazzo.

The victims were elderly between 70 and 90 years who often lived in conditions of loneliness. Elderly people who were induced or forced, with scams or threats, to give large sums of money. Money that was given to young women, who then put them back at the top of the criminal organization. The operation, called “Transilvania”, was born from an investigation started in 2018 after the complaint filed by an elderly man from a town in Locri. He had reported to the carabinieri that he had been surrounded by a young woman of Romanian nationality who, pretending to be in love with him, had induced him, within a year, to deliver them, through direct donations of cash and payments via “Money Transfer” abroad, the total sum of 20 thousand euros.

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According to the investigators, the illicit proceeds collected by the suspects would be around one million euros, of which 179 thousand euros would have been traced, through the transfer to Romania. Once the money was extorted from the elderly, in fact, the suspects sent it through “Money transfer”. The complex investigations by the Carabinieri and Europol consisted of investigations of a financial nature, wiretapping, videotaping, hearing the offended people and others who were informed of the facts.

The details will be disclosed during a press conference scheduled at 10.30 at the Provincial Command of the Carabinieri of Reggio Calabria and in which the provincial commander col. Marco Guerrini and staff of the European Police Office.

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