Expatica news

Sleepy chateau home to arsenal

25 November 2003

BRUSSELS – Three hundred police officers have been mobilised in a far-reaching operation targeting construction mogul Sebastiano Di Luciano and his entourage for criminal conduct – several tonnes of ammunition were found at his Forchies-la-Marche chateau.

For several years, Di Luciano has been residing in a chateau at Forchies-la-Marche and has been suspected of stealing arms, money laundering and having links with the mafia.

Last Wednesday, several tonnes of ammunition were found at the chateau, including guns, explosives, grenades, detonators and an anti aircraft MG-42 machine gun.

The stash could prove to be even larger as searches continue in the underground labyrinth of the chateau, where arms were found in dog kennels, and under chicken coops.

Apart from a two-year sentence for fiscal fraud, Di Luciano had always escaped from the hands of justice despite his declared earnings being inferior to what would be needed to cover the cost of the property in which he lived and several luxury cars.

Di Luciano was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and the management of a criminal organisation, while his brother, Domenico, was arrested for holding stolen goods.

Philippe Melchior, a dentist with practices in Nice and London, is suspected of financing the group, while Michele Messina and Donato Mafucci were arrested for participating in illicit financial operations – Mafucci was later released.

Searches at Forchies-la-Marche are expected to continue for the next two weeks, but the case itself, which touches several areas of criminality, is set to become a long -unning affair.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Belgian news