'Mob link' wind boss loses €1.3bn

An Italian renewable energy developer accused of mob links has seen €1.3bn ($1.7bn) of his assets confiscated by the country’s anti-mafia authorities.

The court ruling – which covers 43 companies comprising wind and PV firms – means Vito Nicastri is the subject of the biggest single mafia-related confiscation in Italian history, says Reuters.

The decision by a court in Trapani, Sicily makes permanent a seizure that was first carried out in 2010 as part of an investigation into Nicastri – once dubbed “the Lord of the Wind – and others over alleged mafia links.

The haul of confiscated assets also includes 98 properties, cars and boats.

The investigation focused on whether “dirty” money earned from drugs, extortion and other criminal enterprises was finding its way into the clean-energy sector.

The investigation has dragged unwitting third-parties into the affair.

For example, Danish developer Greentech saw a 15% stake in a Sicilian wind farm it bought from Nicastri seized by mafia investigators in September 2010.

Greentech – which was never accused of any wrongdoing – finally got the share released by a court a year later.