Behind thecase of the State masks, which already thickens many mysteries, there were the secret services. This was confirmed by the former premier Giuseppe Conte a Report explaining that it was he himself, in the initial stages of the pandemic, who requested its intervention from the Civil Protection. In order to “avoid scams”. It is not known how they operated, because – following negotiations and purchases then made by the State – it is a succession of kidnappings and investigations which, in addition to fixers and improvised entrepreneurs, overwhelmed the commissioner of the time. Domenico Arcuri, and also the former partner of the firm and friend of Conte, the lawyer Luca Di Donna. In his office, he reveals Report, the 007s were really there. To do what?
On the other hand, it seems certain by now that the heads of Customs were immediately warned, as early as March 2020, that large consignments arriving from China were flooding Italy, including hospitals and schools, accompanied by false certifications or non-existent which made them unsuitable or even “potentially dangerous” for health. The Customs Anti-fraud alert has not stopped the large suspicious influxes that enter public facilities, medical facilities or retail circuits. The whole story continues to turn on the reasons and possible responsibilities.
From the beginning of the pandemic to today, Report recalls, they have been cleared over customs 5 billion masks. Only last March (and then in October) the Prosecutor of Gorizia seized 800 million pieces purchased from the Arcuri facility which, according to the analyzes, would not protect enough or would even be dangerous for health. On 1.2 billion purchases, Arcuri would have liquidated directly to Chinese companies as well 60 million euros, aware that they would also have served to pay commissions to Italian intermediaries such as the former RAI journalist Mario Benotti and other mediators. Arcuri is under investigation for embezzlement and abuse of office. So far, a largely known story.
The highlight of the last episode of Ranucci’s transmission (“Mascheropoli”), however, revolves around an unpublished testimony, that of the Umbrian businessman Giovanni Buini, which for the first time speaks openly of a “bribe”. Not in a random place, in the Roman office of Conte’s former study colleague. And in the presence of service men. The owner of “Ares Safety Srl” says that in order to obtain a contract from the Arcuri commissioner structure 160 million pieces in mid-2020 he addressed Di Donna as a “facilitator”, only to withdraw at the last moment in front of a request for 5% commission which for him was a real bribe.
At the decisive meeting, says the entrepreneur, two officials were also present intelligence services. Enrico Tedeschi, former head of the Aise Cabinet, and a trusted man in the office. “I have no idea what they were doing there.” The last and decisive meeting takes place on May 5, 2020 in Di Donna’s studio. Faced with an exorbitant fee, Buini revokes the appointment of the lawyer friend of Conte. The next day, he tells Report, the Nas knock on his company, the next day it’s up to the Finance which finds several irregularities. Buini denounces Di Donna, who is being investigated by the Rome prosecutor for trafficking in illicit influences for this and other mediations that they consider illegal. Professor of private law at the Sapienza University of Rome, when Conte becomes Prime Minister Di Donna would have written a text message to his closest clients: “We have a friend who is Prime Minister”.
So Report goes to Conte who answers the questions, effectively breaking the delivery of the silence of the Five Stars that began with the quarrel on the Rai subdivision in November. Without denying his friendship with Di Donna, the former prime minister says he “never cultivated relationships that could generate ainterference even just potential with the position I was carrying out “. He then explains that, given the emergency situation, “I was not in a position to follow the single lots, the single purchases, the single supplies”. On those suspects he admits that “from time to time some overpaid supplies came out, but we were in a complicated situation”. And to avoid it, he explains, “I asked the intelligence directors to allocate some resources to the Civil Protection to avoid these scams “.
The risk was illustrated by two detailed reports from the Customs Anti-fraud which indicated that the price of the masks was four times the European average, but above all that they were mostly accompanied by false certifications by non-authorized / accredited bodies. The first report is dated 6 April 2020, the next day it is sent directly to the general manager Marcello Minenna through the Deputy Director’s Office. It condenses the information received up to that day from the checks carried out in Lazio, in collaboration with the leaders of the Carabinieri del Nas. The undue marketing and use of Dpi, we read, “configures serious elements of danger to the health of users”. And again: “The health emergency does not justify the supply of poor products accompanied by non-existent and worthless certificates, having primarily, especially for supplies to doctors and nurses, to ensure products suitable for protection from COVID-19”. The Report reporter asks Minenna what happened to the reports. To the Prosecutor’s Office, Minenna replies, claiming they are covered by a secret investigation. Other sources refer to the fattoquotidiano.it that in reality they would never arrive at the Prosecutor’s Office.
Be that as it may, it is not the only one mystery. On 22 April 2020, the then director of the Adm Anti-fraud had sent one to all the local directors of the agency whitelist of companies with high reliability margins authorized by the Chinese authorities themselves to export dpi. The customs officer at the Embassy of Italy in China had contributed to the drafting of the list, and was also acquired by the GDF officer seconded to Beijing. The list was aimed at both orient controls of the goods arriving at the Italian customs which a to select, with reliability criteria, the company teams that were accrediting themselves as “suppliers for subjects participating in Consip public tenders”. The list includes 150 manufacturers of medical protective masks, 523 of surgical, 752 of disposable medical masks. The fattoquotidiano.it was able to consult it: in the initial period of the emergency and even beyond, ie from April to November 2020, no company on the “white list” was used by the commissioner for supplies. While 800 million pieces purchased from suppliers who are not part of it are still under seizure. Because?
The investigation into Arcuri tells that, on the other hand, how to get to the place they were entrusted to subjects of dubious reliability. Starting with those of the man at the center of the investigation, the Rai journalist on leave Mario Benotti, owner of a galaxy of activities branched out in various sectors, such as Defense, but at the same time in great economic difficulty before that operation; so much so as to be, as Il Fatto said, “recipient of foreclosure deeds received as third party creditors” and signatory of several checks “results without coverage and therefore unpaid”. Acts that “trace a profile of unreliability on the customer precisely in relation to the relationship of trust with him”, notes the Guardia di Finanza in a report on the records of the Roman investigation. In the period between January-May 2020 Benotti and Arcuri, the investigators note, exchange 1200 telephone contacts. Which stop suddenly on May 7th. Interviewed on Rete 4 by Nicola Porro, Benotti said that “Arcuri had informed me of insights from the Services on the whole issue”, a circumstance denied by the commissioner. According to Conte, the services were actually part of the game. For whom or what they played, however, is not clear.[display-posts orderby="rand"]