Italian prosecutors link Mafia associates with 2005 America’s Cup

Wed Apr 10 2013, 13:08 PM

Companies that received €46m contracts to repair a Sicilian harbour before a 2005 Louis Vuitton race indicted

A judge in Sicily has given investigators permission to seize part of Trapani harbor in Sicily as well as control over companies linked to fugitive Mafia boss Messina Denaro, one of Italy's most wanted men. Investigators say Francesco and Vincenzo Morici, the owners of the companies, have close links with Denaro.

The court order, which made headlines in Italy, was due to allegations that a €46m contract for the 2005 America’s Cup series was “steered by organized crime.” Corriere della Sera said that the Moricis were paid that amount to repair Trapani harbor before the Louis Vuitton series took place there in September 2005. The work was never completed.

Investigators also allege that Antonio d'Ali, former chairman of the Trapani provincial authority and junior minister in the Berlusconi government, was complicit in the illegal deals. D’Ali is currently on trial for complicity in a “Mafia-style criminal association,” according to the paper.