Mafia links force Italian police to shut down Palermo course
Italian police have suspended racing until further notice at a track in Palermo after discovering illegal gambling and evidence of race fixing as part of a mafia investigation.
Police made 25 arrests linked to the mafia clans of Resuttana-San Lorenzo this month, and those reportedly revealed the extent of mafia involvement in racing.
“We are in the presence of a system of conditioning and mafia infiltration,” Antonella De Miro, head of the Palermo prefecture, told The Guardian.
They also reported that Vito Galatolo, described as a former mobster from Palermo turned supergrass, told the investigators: “There were also jockeys who did not bow to the demands of the boss who ordered them to lose. When that happened, the clan goons kicked and punched them, until they were forced to surrender.”
The 15,000-capacity Ippodromo La Favorita track's 400 stables are now empty, with the management company stripped of its tender.
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