Luxury watches, diamond tennis bracelets, an apartment and a business. This is the “treasure” seized by the carabinieri in Santo Strano, ‘make the palemmu, one of the top figures of the Cappello clan of Catania. The 54-year-old, currently detained under a high security regime, is in fact the recipient of a decree issued by the Court of Catania – Prevention Measures Section at the request of the Dda Etna. The measure was also carried out against his wife, owner of the property and the retail company of coffee seized. Both located in the district of the Sant’Agata Village of Catania.
The Carabinieri of the Investigative Unit of the Provincial Command of Catania have carried out precise accounting and patrimonial investigations in which it appears the absence “of the necessary economic / financial coverage” of what has been accumulated. For the investigators, therefore, there would have been the investment of “proceeds deriving from the illegal activity carried out by Strano”. Leading boss of the Catania mafia – and with a direct kinship relationship with the godfather Turi Cappello at 41bis – and judged “socially dangerous with an irrevocable decree of the Court of Catania in April 2010”.
Santo Strano took his first steps in crime between the late eighties and early nineties, then he also climbed the top of the Cappello clan. The carabinieri are targeting the illicit proceeds resulting from “crimes against property”. Make the palms was convicted of theft and extortion. Until 2017, when he was then convinced in the maxi blitz Penelope (sentence on appeal to 14 years), he was among the protagonists of the criminal affairs of the Cappello clan. To understand his role at the top, the repentant Carmelo Di Mauro by drawing the pyramid of command puts Strano on the same level as Massimiliano Salvo, ‘u carruzzeri. In short, just a step below the tip where he writes the name of Salvatore Lombardo, ‘u ciuraru. A structure, however, that refers to the period before 2017, before the Penelope operation took place.
But it is not only he who talks about Santo Strano, there is an endless list of justice collaborators who tell the criminal affairs in which the boss is involved. Starting from the drug trafficker Domenico Querulo, to the Santapaoliano Paolo Mirabile, and then the former soldiers and wingmen of the Cappello Filippo Passalacqua, Natale Cavallaro, Gaetano D’Aquino, Giuseppe Raffa, Sebastiano Sardo. Orazio Cardaci and Carmelo Scordino close the list.
Strano has so much influence in the Catania mafia that he is able to authorize and provide cover for the illegal activity of the Cambria family. He also held positions of managers of the Cappello clan group in via della Concordia “deciding on the operational strategies, the procurement of the narcotic substance and the methods of illegal recovery of large credits”. But he would also have been the boss he did from hyphen with the mafia cell of Catenanuova-Centuripe-Regalbuto. And he allegedly had direct contact with Turi Cappello and the companion of the mafia boss Maria Campagna, both defendants in the Penelope trial.
According to the investigators’ estimates, the assets seized amount to a total value of over 500,000 euros. In the hands of the state, “an apartment in the Sant’Agata Village in the name of his wife Stefania Reale, the Reale Stefania di “Retail trade of roasted coffee”, positive balances of any bank / financial relationships exceeding 1000 euros, 9 watches of prestigious brands and 2 tennis-type bracelets with diamonds.
The valuables were seized from him in 2015 during a blitz by the Enna carabinieri for the Catenanuova massacre: the military found them in the safe. For the record Strano was acquitted for the bloody events of 2008, while he was convicted of mafia by the Nissen Court.
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