Italian Mafia corrupts green energy sector, sting operations show

3:34 AM  01/25/2013

The Italian Mafia has heavily infiltrated the country’s renewable energy  sector, according to reports of sting operations there.

Since the early 2000s, when governments started flooding global energy  markets with cheap loans, organized crime elements have taken advantage of loose  money and oversight to penetrate multinational corporations.

In a typical scenario, says The Washington Post, Mafia bosses have been  shaking down local land permit holders and leasing their permits to developers,  seeking to build solar parks and wind farms as part of subsidy programs.

A Mafia informant told BBC News that criminal groups have also been  partners in companies issued state subsidies. They have also manipulated  accounting at different stages to hide payments to themselves, according to the  informant.

President Barack Obama made a renewed push for renewable energy in his second  inaugural address this week.

“The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes  difficult. But America cannot resist this transition. We must lead it,” he  said.

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