In the network of interceptions that frame the white-collar workers. Pini to Minenna: "Marcello, I have that load blocked"

In the network of interceptions that frame the white-collar workers.  Pini to Minenna: "Marcello, I have that load blocked"


To frame Marcello Minenna, former councilor of the Raggi junta, former director of the Customs Agency and councilor with Occhiuto in Calabria and the former Northern League parliamentarian Gianluca Pini were the telephone interceptions. It is an important point of the investigation, born from an investigation into drug trafficking which then paved the way for another strand, the one which, in fact, involved Minenna and Pini. The investigation documents put the story of the maxi contract for masks from China during the pandemic under a magnifying glass. Pini certainly has a leading role, strongly linked to the League before breaking the relationship with the secretary Matteo Salvini. It is he who, in one of the wiretaps (quoted by Repubblica), speaks clearly, addressing Minenna: "Marcello, I have that load blocked..." obviously referring to the anti-Covid masks. Pini makes the party available and - writes the investigating judge - the "public function for his personal profit" with a certain "nonchalance" writes Massimo de Paoli, investigating judge of Forlì.

Minenna arrested, the economist with a passion for military stars: "I am a civil servant"

PAUL BARONI


Behind a million-dollar scam on masks in the early days of Covid, a traffic of influences and exchanges of favors that led the Forlì prosecutor's office and the Bologna Dda to investigate 34 people, accused for various reasons of many crimes, including fraud aggravated and bribery. The accusation is of having profited from the pandemic, in its most dramatic moment. Among them what the prosecution has called a "pactum sceleris", a true pact with exchange of favours: Pini had promised Minenna to accredit him within the League so that he would be considered a man of that party and promised him confirmation of the appointment as director of the Customs Agency following the change of government, which he effectively obtained. Minenna, the magistrates argue, "accepted the promises in exchange for the enslavement of his public function", in particular "to Pini's requests on the occasion of the importation of goods" including, precisely, the masks at the center of the investigation.
It all began with an investigation into a load of cocaine transported on a truck from Belgium: from the identification of the haulier, linked to an Albanian criminal group, through wiretaps we arrive at Pini, a parliamentarian from Forlì until 2018, who after the experience on the benches of the League undertook some entrepreneurial activities. Among these is Codice srl which in mid-March 2020, when the world was terrified of the Coronavirus and it was not quite clear what was happening, managed to snatch a millionaire contract from the Ausl Romagna, for the supply of masks, which in those days were almost unobtainable. Masks imported from China and, according to the prosecution's hypotheses, with falsified certifications and at prices higher than the euro each: the business would have yielded, in all, over three and a half million. Pini, thanks to his activity as a parliamentarian and national secretary of the Romagna League for over a decade, had gained credibility and contacts. Among the suspects are a USL warehouse worker, one from the prefecture of Ravenna, a policeman and a carabiniere, all accused of illegal exchanges of favours. Marcello Minenna, at the time director of the Customs Agency, after the experience of the Raggi junta in the M5s that would have wanted him to the presidency of Consob, was in contact with Pini and, again according to the hypothesis of the investigators who sifting through printouts and chats to reconstruct contacts, would have helped Pini get masks imported from China through customs. In exchange, Pini would have assured Minenna of his political connections, in particular in February 2021 when the government changed: Pini would have helped, leveraging on his political past, Minenna to gain accreditation with the League to try, succeeding, to be confirmed at the direction of the 'Customs agency. It also emerges from the deeds and wiretaps that Minenna sought relations with Giorgetti on several occasions and that Pini favored them. Taken out of his role in recent months, Minenna then became councilor of the Calabria Region: with the arrest, the suspension was triggered and Occhiuto took over the proxies for himself. But precisely the new position led to the house arrest order, denied in April, because "the prestigious role" involves "many delegations and also the management of the money resources linked to the implementation of the PNRR" and "allows us to believe that he has multiple possibilities for polluting evidence. For Minenna's defender, Gianluca Tognozzi, "the only disputed episode concerns his having worked in favor of an entrepreneur close to the League to unblock his supply of masks stopped at the Milan customs". After almost three years of investigations, at the conclusion of a complicated investigation involving very different crimes, 34 precautionary measures were taken in the morning (with preventive seizures of around 63 million) also carried out with the collaboration of the Belgian and German police forces.



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