They did not even stop under the closure phase due to Covid. They continued to weave their criminal relationships and in some cases the victims were even forced to sell the house. First the property was mortgaged and then, in fact, sold with debt-ridden owners. A round of usury for tens of thousands of euros that crushed by the Roman mobile squad which concluded an operation that saw four precautionary measures stand out, among which there are a father and son, for as many characters who, thus, were put in a position to stop acting: not to expect rates that have even reached 480% on an annual basis. An anti-usury operation as part of a complex investigative activity coordinated by the specific Public Prosecutor’s Pool. The agents even saved a shopkeeper, a bar owner, from a suicide attempt. Then, they identified and reconstructed the criminal events of individuals who gave out loans, to usurious interests, to various small entrepreneurs and to people in economic difficulties in the south-east of the city.
Condemned usurer, a bartender who ended up in his network: “He presented himself as a benefactor, then hell”
The suspects, aged between 29 and 65, who worked mainly in the Laurentino district, were charged with the crimes of aggravated usury and extortion as well as the abusive exercise of financial activity. Six complaints originated from the Eur, Tintoretto, Marconi, Appio and Portuense areas, neighborhoods where the main suspects “strangled” the victims despite having their operational base in Laurentino, where appointments were made and collections were made. The arrested, as the police have ascertained, sometimes passed the same person in financial difficulty. They made him believe that they did not know each other but in reality it was all arranged for the debtor to pass to a stranger and more understanding. Another “trick” was to make oneself believe an “army” of people ready to terrorize the victims, an extortion: «If you don’t pay me, I’ll take your head off. There are at least 20 people looking for you. We know where you are », this is a wiretapping. One victim was harassed even in full lockdown. To the torturers he says: “The world is dying for the coronavirus and you are only asking me for money”. regain possession of the sums of money. The other two involved are a 57-year-old, right-hand man of the group leader who must also answer for aggravated extortion in competition and a 29-year-old.
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