News 12th June 2015

17 Further arrests reported in Italian match-fixing probe

State Police in Catanzaro, Italy, have performed 17 interim arrests issued by the District Attorney of Catanzaro as part of the ‘Dirty Soccer’ match-fixing inquiry led by anti-mafia prosecutors in the southern Italian town. Most of the 17 arrested were among the more than 50 people who were detained by police in Catanzaro throughout Italy last month under orders of the Anti-Mafia District Directorate (DDA).

The Judge for the Preliminary Investigation (GIP) confirmed that both inquiries regarded “two distinct criminal organisations” respectively active in the fixing of football matches. The new investigation involves those already suspected of being involved in fixing matches in the Serie D and Lega Pro – including managers, coaches and players – as well as new suspects, including managers and players, in the Eccellenza Calabria, the regional fifth-tier football division for clubs in Calabria.

Il Messagerro, the Italian broadsheet, reported that Rodolfo Ruperti, Catanzaro’s head of criminal investigations, told journalists that he was ‘disgusted by the rot that we found around the football.’ He reportedly said that ‘in every call we heard there has not been a single tapped phone call in which fixed matches were not discussed’.

According to the broadsheet, of the 17 arrests, five people were detained in prison, ten were placed under house arrest and two were obliged to report to the police. These were the orders issued by the investigating magistrate of Catanzaro at the request of the DDA, who reportedly confirmed that concerned some of those who had already been detained on 19th May. The paper named the five arrested and detained in prison as Peter Iannazzo, a market consultant with the football club Neapolis who reportedly has prominent links to the ‘ndrangheta organized crime syndicate; Mario Moxedano, the President of Neapolis; Mauro Ulizio; Raffaele Pietanza and Edmond Nerjaku, an entrepreneur and financier.

Those placed under house arrest were reportedly Antonio Ciccarone of Neapolis; Alberto Scarnà, a police superintendent; Adolfo Gerolino, former player of the football club Pro Patria; Vincenzo Melillo, another former Pro Patria player; Marco Tosi, former coach of Pro Patria; Fabio Di Lauro, a former football player and entrepreneur; Maximum Notes; Felice Bellini; Pasquale Izzo, a footballer with the club Puteolana and Vincenzo Nucifora. The two suspects obliged to report to the police were named as Ala Timosenco and Eriskon Aruci.

The day before the announcement of the new arrests, Catanzaro State Police issued a press release stating that they had executed five search warrants with notices of investigation, ordered by the public prosecutor of Catanzaro, against executives of the football teams of Teramo and Savona with regard to a match between the two teams on 2nd May 2015 in Group B of the Lega Pro, the south central and southern group of the third tier of professional football in Italy. Executives are accused of having altered the result of the game which allowed Teramo to gain direct promotion to Serie B a day before the end of this year’s Lega Pro. Among the suspects in this investigation were the President and Sports Director of Teramo, Luciano Campitelli and David Matteini, and Marco Barghigiani, Sports Director of the football club Savona, as well as others already being investigated under the original May 19th investigation.

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