Sicilian man to be extradited over mafia ties

The man is wanted for 'association in armed mafia activities'

A Sicilian man with alleged ties to the mafia has consented to be extradited to Italy to face charges after he was arrested in Malta.

Ettore Riccobono, 33, from Catania, is wanted by the Italian authorities for “association in armed mafia activities.”

Ettore Riccobono
Ettore Riccobono

He was identified and detained in Malta following a Schengen Information System alert.

Riccobono told magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras that he was giving his consent to be extradited.

Inspector Mark Galea led the prosecution. Lawyer Victor Bugeja was legal aid to the requested person.

Riccobono was one of 17 persons named in connection with a criminal association investigation in Catania regarding fraud against the Italian government through the claiming of undue agricultural unemployment benefits and corruption.

These crimes were aggravated by the use of the “mafia method”, the press in Italy reported.

Riccobono was said to have been one of the essential figures who recruited agricultural labourers.

He and others were allegedly responsible for recruiting the sham agricultural workers and for recovering money from them, including through violence.

Around 500 false workers were reported to have been receiving agricultural unemployment benefits.