Warning Italian Mafia preparing to invest in tourism, restaurants

People on the Naples waterfront on the first day of Phase 2 of the Coronavirus emergency, Italy, 4 May 2020. EPA-EFE/CIRO FUSCO

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Italy’s mafias will invest in tourism and restaurants hit by the coronavirus emergency, the government’s COVID-19 criminal infiltration monitoring body said Friday.

The tourism and catering sectors will have a “lack of liquidity that will expose them to loan sharking” with the risk of the mafia taking over the activities with the aim of laundering money, the report said.

The Italian government is thinking of setting up a fund for the hotel sector, one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus emergency and one of those most at risk of mafia infiltration, sources said Friday.

The idea is to set up a fund “from which hotel owners can quickly obtain liquidity after partially ceding ownership, temporarily and at face value, with the prospect of being able to repay the funding obtained in an easier time-frame”, the sources said.

Read more via ANSA

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