Society

Italy earthquake in 2009: Officials suspected of financial fraud

The vice-mayor of the Italian town of Aquila (Aquila) and several other people are suspected of particularly large financial frauds.

According to local media, Roberto Riga and his accomplices tried to cash in by concluding agreements for the restoration after the 2009 earthquake in the city of Aquila, which is located in the central region of Abruzzo. At the moment, the official and his henchmen are under house arrest until further clarification of all the circumstances of the case. According to local police, two years after the terrible earthquake that struck Avila in 2009, the suspects managed to appropriate almost two million euros allocated for the restoration of the houses of citizens.

“I feel betrayed. And I turned to the investigating authorities with a request to solve this humiliating case, which casts a shadow over the whole city, as soon as possible, ”the vice mayor of Riga told reporters, who will soon be charged with bribery.” It's like a bolt from the blue I can not believe it. I completely trust the investigating authorities and hope that they can clarify the whole situation. ”

Over the past day, more than 40 police officers took part in raids and arrests in the town of Aquila. As indicated earlier, in addition to the vice-mayor, seven more people were detained who are charged with numerous crimes, including extortion by fraud, bribery, forgery and embezzlement on a large scale. From 2009 to 2011, fraudsters only earned about half a million euros on bribes, Ansa reports. The police listened to dozens of phone numbers, and roughly established some schemes, according to which the bribery procedures took place.

An earthquake with an amplitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale occurred late at night on April 6, 2009. According to experts on natural disasters, this riot of elements is considered the most powerful and destructive in the territory of modern Italy over the past three decades. The Aquila earthquake claimed the lives of 293 people, and also left about 29 thousand people homeless. As a result of the strong shocks, approximately 15 thousand buildings were damaged. Until now, residents of some settlements in the region have not decided to return home and prefer to stay on the Adriatic coast in houses rented by the government for victims of the devastating elements.

It is noteworthy that the Aquila earthquake was preceded by a series of 800 aftershocks, but the city authorities did not warn the local population about the impending disaster. It was later established that the blame for such a large number of deaths and destruction lies with six seismologists and one official who did not consider it necessary to notify the inhabitants of the region about the invasion of the elements. This case caused a great resonance among the international community of scientists who insisted that it was possible to predict an earthquake only in rare cases, but the Italian court remained adamant. In 2012, all the defendants were sentenced to six years in prison, they were also obliged to reimburse all the amounts spent on the trial, and to cover losses.

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