“They put it in the earth … Another quarry, let’s say all plowed with holes, they throw everything there inside and cover immediately “. On 25 September 2019, Roberto Scarcia, is on the phone. The head of the criminal association which, according to the Lecce Anti-Mafia, trafficked waste, is receiving information from his accomplices on the new sites to “fill”. Unaware of being heard by financiers of Taranto that together with the carabinieri are carrying out the investigation, Scarcia does not mince words and when he understands that this unloading operation will also be carried out in a “crap” site just try to find precautions so as not to lose customers. “Ah! all right. But we can’t show the engineer I’m done… ”.
In the almost 500 pages that make up the precautionary custody order of the operation “all black”, there are many, many interceptions that explain the business of the Salento group that with “perfectly oiled operating methods” has buried about 600 tons of waste in countryside between Taranto and Lecce. Anywhere could host rubbish, for Scarcia and his accomplices it was one manna from heaven. “The criminal group – writes the investigating judge Alcide Maritati – not having authorized sites for the storage and treatment of waste, it was also connected to a network of people scattered over the territories of the Salento provinces who have provided (for a fee) the availability of quarries, warehouses or areas not otherwise used (sometimes even of unsuspecting owners) to be used in illegal landfill”.
Any place unattended, in short, was potentially an objective of the association. In fact, by poisoning the land, they reduced disposal costs by 90 percent and clearly managed to defeat the competition. Judge Maritati, in fact, spoke of “a spirit markedly aimed at the hoarding, without any scruple, of economic profits” which prompted the suspects “without the slightest jolt of conscience”To pollute“ the earth and nature, even that in which some of them live ”. And give it wiretapping collected by the financiers led by the lieutenant colonel Marco Antonucci the large profit margins that allowed significant discounts emerge clearly: “he said I want 90 … but 80 can be done … we remove the 10 but as long as we start … okay okay … I’ll keep this … 90 eh … I’m saying to shit we both split up … that it fucks us … we do it from Vincenzo there… that 600 euros Vincenzo wants… we earn 400 euros per car (to truck, ed) … throw them away “.
But the illegal system needs more illegality to move forward. And so brokers, hauliers, businesses, owners of sites transformed into landfills, all chose to save at the expense of legality. Who did too many questions, was excluded. As the truck driver that in August 2019 asks for explanations on a drain: “this company said my son … he sent us the registration number by email and my son went to see on the environmental thing to a part where you can see if the companies are registered … and it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t exist there… this firm doesn’t exist… because the thing it stinks a bit because where they have to unload he saw my son and it is a shed ”. The answer leaves no room for doubts or interpretations: “then listen to me if it’s something that it doesn’t suit you do not understand? “.
And also for companies that were hesitant, there was no escape. “You have to give me the money… because if you don’t give me the money, I make you really scared, I really make you shit, because I make you shut down the plant in two hours, okay? As you are a witness and you too, because you knew it is not that you did not know, then we close the whole circuit, we tear all things, you make the transfer to me and you have nothing left, I have nothing left and it’s over ”. In short, in the face of money, everything could disappear. Not only waste, but also businesses, invoices and above all the same money. “The only thing we must see well is what is up to me and we must do all the bank’s transactions. We have to organize it well that as they arrive we have to move them. As soon as they arrive. we have to move them “.