Italian CEO Arrested On Suspected Mafia Connections

Mario Columbini, CEO of Calcestruzzi —  a subsidiary of Italy’s largest cement maker — is arrested on suspicion of fraud and collusion with the Mafia.

ROME (AP) — Police in Sicily on Wednesday arrested the chief executive of a subsidiary of Italcementi SpA, Italy's biggest cement maker, for alleged Mafia collusion, authorities said.

Mario Colombini, CEO of Italcementi's Calcestruzzi unit, was picked up at his home in Camparada, near Milan, on suspicion of fraud and collusion with the Mafia, said police in Caltanissetta, Sicily.

Two other officials, including the suspended head of the company's operations in Sicily and the southern Campania region, were also detained.

The arrests came a month after the Bergamo-based Calcestruzzi announced it had suspended its operations at its seven plants in Sicily because it feared infiltration by organized crime. The move came after prosecutors in Caltanissetta launched an investigation into ''irregularities'' reported by the company.

Calcestruzzi was still operational, but had been placed under judicial administration with specially-appointed managers, police said.

Calls to Calcestruzzi seeking comment on the arrests weren't immediately returned.

Calcestruzzi is a unit of Italcementi Group, the world's fifth-largest cement producer with an annual production capacity of about 70 million tons (77.2 US tons) of cement. The group's parent, Italcementi SpA, is one of Italy's 10 largest industrial companies.
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