Think only Cyprus is where the government goes after "evil", tax-evading oligarchs? Think again. Overnight news broke that the Italian police have seized a record $1.7 billion in cash and property from a single person, a Sicilian "alternative energy" entrepreneur alleged to have close ties to the Mafia. As Bloomberg reports, Italy's anti-Mafia investigators said in a statement today that Vito Nicastri, a 57-year-old native of Alcamo, near Trapani, was placed under surveillance and must remain in Alcamo for three years. He is accused of declaring for tax purposes a fraction of the value of his businesses. Italian media have dubbed Nicastri the "king of alternative energy" for his vast holdings in wind farms and photovoltaic cell companies. Police said the seizures include 43 companies; 98 pieces of real estate including buildings, homes, stores and land; 66 bank accounts, credit cards and investment funds.
And so, in two brief weeks, cash-strapped European nations have declared war on both Russian billionaire oligarchs and the Sicilian mafia. One wonders how long until Swiss authorities follow suit and "impair" Triad and Yakuza savings in Zurich and Geneva, and sets off a global "us versus them" scorched earth war?
Perhaps it is time to petition Coppoloa to go easy on the winemaking and instead prepare to shoot the latest installment of what will soon be the Godfather quadrilogy based on real events?