Rome marina under seizure, handcuffs for president

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Screenshot 2015-07-29 at 12:51:20 p.m.
What chaos at Rome’s tourist port in Ostia (on the Duca degli Abruzzi waterfront)! Since the early hours of the morning today, financiers from the Rome Provincial Command have been executing four pre-trial detention orders against members of a criminal syndicate headed by Mauro Balini, president of the Rome Tourist Port.
The four arrested (in addition to Balini, in handcuffs a lawyer with an office in the capital city and two front men) are charged with “conspiracy to commit fraudulent bankruptcy of assets and documents, money laundering, use of money, goods and utilities of illicit origin, and fraudulent transfer of valuables.” Nine other people were charged at large, with searches at the homes, studios and companies of those involved.

PORT AREAS AND BERTHS SEIZED
In the course of the operation, assets, including movable and immovable property, company shares, current accounts and the “surface right over more than 1,300 state-owned properties” (berths, parking lots, port areas) worth 400 million euros were seized. Now, who had the berth? The port, in theory, will continue to operate. Two administrators have been appointed by the judge to keep the port open to ensure the operations of the commercial and accommodation facilities there.

HAD BEEN INVESTIGATED SINCE 2012
Rome Today reads,The investigations, which began in 2012 for a “hypothesis of bankruptcy,” ascertained how the four accomplices had “knowingly led to the bankruptcy of A.T.I. S.p.a.,” a company that had overseen the construction of the Tourist Port of Rome and which, until 2008, was the concessionaire of the infrastructure, belonging, moreover, to a group of companies traceable to Balini himself. It was precisely the latter, with the complicity of trusted collaborators and professionals and thanks to “front men” and “shell companies,” that had carried out a “complex corporate scheme aimed at fraudulently diverting substantial resources, assets and financial, to the detriment of the bankrupt A.T.I. S.p.a., creditors and the Treasury, for a final liability of more than 155 million euros.” Balini, according to investigators, would appear to be at the center of it all. The entrepreneur was, in addition, “charged with the crime of fraudulent transfer of values, for having registered in the name of apparently third-party companies, the prestigious penthouse on the Ostiense coast in which he lives, which was also fraudulently taken away from A.T.I.,” and a luxurious catamaran, in his exclusive possession, purchased, in large part, “with resources taken from the bankrupt through the described fraud scheme.”

ORIGINS SINCE 2005
According to the Finance Department, the criminal scheme was born in 2005, when Balini “preconstituted a large credit to A.T.I. S.p.a. for more than 28 million euros, simulating, among other things, the assumption of a debt in the bankrupt’s hands originated by the receipt of false invoices issued by companies traceable to his loyal associates.” By justifying the transactions as “repayment of shareholder financing,” Balini had, therefore, been able to “withdraw large sums from company coffers as well as divert real estate from the company’s assets to other enterprises that are traceable to him.”

PORT ENLARGEMENT
In 2008, in perfect harmony with the ongoing criminal plan, Porto Turistico di Roma S.r.l., owned by Balini himself, had obtained, from A.T.I. S.p.a., the “turning over of the concession on the entire port infrastructure, and had, thus, taken over the possibility of carrying out the port expansion, later authorized in August 2013, cashing in the consequent huge profits.”

THE PORT OF OSTIA
The current facility covers an area of about 22 hectares and has 840 berths for lengths ranging from 8 to 60 meters. The port expansion will increase its capacity to 1419 berths, providing approximately 611 new berths for recreational boats between 12 and 70 meters long. To get a sense of the scale of the wrongdoing and the economic damage caused to A.T.I. S.p.a., Porto Turistico di Roma S.r.l. has “estimated the commercial value of the concession related to the expansion of the port at about 200 million euros and the commercial value of the concession related to the surface rights and use of the state-owned property subject to seizure at about 220 million euros.”

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