Italian police said they had seized a yacht that once belonged to fascist dictator Benito Mussolini from a businessman possibly linked to a huge organised crime network.
The yacht was among €28m worth of assets, including real estate, luxury cars, and company stakes, sequestered in an investigation into three individuals and 10 companies, the finance police said.
A confiscation order from a Rome court named the businessman as Salvatore Squillante, 68. The lawyer named in the order as acting for Squillante declined to comment.
He bought the classic sailboat, christened the ‘Black Flame’ by a fascist friend who gifted it to Mussolini in the 1930s, through one of the seized companies.
The boat was deliberately sunk in 1943 to stop it falling into German hands after the Fascist regime fell, and was then hauled out and restored after the war.
The court document said Mr Squillante, who served a community service sentence for a 1993 fraudulent bankruptcy, made business deals that suggested he might be linked to a Rome-based mafia network run by a former neo-fascist gangster.
He rented property to a firm owned by convicted murderer Salvatore Buzzi, who is accused of being a prominent member of the crime ring that allegedly skimmed millions off city hall contracts in Rome.
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