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GNOSIS 4/2008
The security in economy in the epoch of globalization

with the Commander General of the Guardia della Finanza Cosimo D’Arrigo

Born in Catania on the 14th June, 1945 , attended the Modena Military Academy and the School of Application Studies at Turin. Degree in strategic science. He has held numerous and prestigious posts, among which:
1989/1990:Chief of the Coordination Office of the Official General Direction of the Army;
1994/1996: Chief of the 1stUnit of the Army General Staff
1997: Vice-Commander of the 1st Command of the Defence Forces;
2000: Commander of the C4 IEW Command
2002/2003Director General of the Military Personnel;
2003/2005Commander of the Operative Ground Forces and of the South Joint Command;
2005/2007 2nd in Command of the General Staff of the Defence.
From the 1st June, 2007he assumed the post of Commander General of the Guardia di Finanza. During the course of his career, he has been awarded the gold medal and other distinctions and decorations.

The Guardia di Finanza originated as an Institution destined to defend the interests of the Inland Revenue and to protect the national production. The Corp was committed, according to the regulations of the Institution, to guarantee the respect for the fiscal obligation and impede that illegal importation of goods steals resources from the Treasury or could damage the internal economy with the introduction of foreign goods onto the market – tasks which, at the beginning, were prevalently of the State, seen from a conception of the economy tied to protectionist principles. The State vocation of the Guardia di Finanze continued for decades until well after the 2nd World War.
In the last thirty years there has been a rapid transformation due to the burst through of a new type of criminal activity in Italy and in the developed Countries, as well as, a metamorphosis in the economic fabric. The Guardia di Finanza within a few decades has found itself in the front line in actions countering organized crime. The repression of the large criminal networks has been (and still is) – in an always effective manner – made possible by a thorough investigation of the economic activities that support them, of the destination and productivity of the illegal proceeds.
Unforeseen tasks have been attributed to the Guardia di Finanza, which have been imposed by the multiplication of the trading, by a rapid opening of the frontiers and markets, by new needs of tutelage of consumption, of labour and business competition. The Guardia di Finanza, which originated as an Institution strictly tied to the interests of the State and to an economy perimetric to the national frontiers, configures more and more as an instrument of the civil society.
How are the new tasks handled? What material and planning resources are invested to face unexpected needs? What are the costs? What is the relationship with the citizen? How are the necessary investigations conciliated with the protection of privacy and competition? And again, what role is played and can be played by an Institution, which is specialized in economic and financial investigation, in relation to the economic crisis that is taking place at a global level? The Commander General of the Guardia di Finanza, Cosimo D’Arrigo, replies to our questions.

Today, the functions and tasks of the Guardia di Finanza are changed. The Corp is no longer only an instrument destined to guarantee the State revenues, but it is a new and complex apparatus assigned to the defence of the civil society, of the labour and of the market. Protection of people against organizations that realize their power in the multiplication of the earnings produced by crime. The protection of businesses, of international markets, of communications is a necessary consequence of the diffusion of new kinds of criminality. This transformation of the Guardia di Finanza has led to very positive results for the community. The clearest example is represented by the role that, in the 90’s, the financial investigations played in the fight against the mafia. Is it is possible to bring this wealth of experience to the regions and areas hit by a criminality of a different name, but still always the mafia type?
Certainly it is possible, it is hoped for and, indeed, it must and will be done.
As you mentioned, at the end of the 90’s, the Guardia di Finanza started a process of internal reform and adjustment in response – in an always growing and efficient and effective manner – to the changes of the social and economic context of reference. No more, therefore, only a Police Force destined to the control of the regular fulfilment of the tributary obligations, but to the defence of
legality aimed at guaranteeing a more ample and fundamental social need: the economic security. And thence, the protection of the freedom of negotiation, of the market in all its forms and meanings, and of the rights of the consumer and user.
Among the considerations that have influenced and determined this process of transformation, a fundamental part have had the conducted analyses and the matured experienced in the sector of the opposition to the mafia phenomenon, with the increased knowledge that, beyond all the necessary and indispensable synergies among all the bodies called to this task, the criminal organizations of this kind must be fought not only by hitting the “military” components, but, also, and above all, by attacking the accumulated wealth, the financing sources and the illicit profits realized and re-employed in the legal economy.
It is this the objective of the modern Guardia di Finanza which, in the ambit of the activities directed to give material form to the economic security and financial concept, uses a good part of its resources and energy in counteracting the infiltration into the “healthy” economy of the Country, all forms of organized crime. We do it by availing ourselves of the investigative instruments made ready to such ends by the legal system, such as the patrimonial investigations in relation to suspect subjects belonging to criminal associations of the mafia type; the verifications of the fiscal position of those who have been condemned, also not definitively, for the associative crime of which to Art. 416 bis of the Criminal Code, or who have received specific measures of prevention, as well as, with an ample recourse to the finance investigations, that is, to the verifications of the assets in banks and all credit intermediaries.
In this sense, we operate systematically through both the Central Service of Investigation on Organized Crime, and the G.I.C.O. (Investigative Groups on the Organized Crime) and through the territorial divisions.
We are strongly convinced that it is necessary to contain and impede the realization of the economic and financial interests of the criminal organizations, acting on three levels:
- impede that new business can be made by profiting from the huge financing destined to the South of Italy;
- concentrate human and technological resources in the individuation of the total assets belonging to the criminals and proceed to the seizing and confiscating of the wealth and properties;
- assuring that these assets can be managed by the civil society or, however, be employed for social services, schools, or garrisons for the Forces of Law and Order.
An integrated strategy, therefore, that knows how to join together the different phases of the struggle against the mafia: the repressive-judicial dimension, with a constant action directed to strike at the military and organizational level; the financial-economic dimension, with the interception of the flows of wealth deriving from the recycling of the proceeds of the rackets, usury, drugs, illicit obtainment of public financing and trade in human beings, to arrive at the confiscation of the
wealth and property for their destination to social ends; the promotion of the culture of legality. Such model of intervention will be applied not only to the mafia problem, in the strictest sense, but will operate in all the geographic contexts and with reference to all the forms of organized delinquency.
In this way, for example, we have achieved concrete results in the Caserta territory: the synergies with the other Police Forces and the thorough carrying out of complex patrimonial and financial investigations have led to recent seizure of goods, activities and valuables to the value of over 125 million Euro, with regard to the “Casalesi” clans. And altogether, in the three year period, 2006-2008, the seizures and confiscations of the kind, on the national territory, have reached almost 4 billion Euro, in a growing trend with respect to the final balance of the preceding periods.

Globalization has increased the circulation of goods, work and knowledge and has favoured, in many ways, the economic development. However, it is a process in which many pitfalls are hidden. One or, perhaps, the first of these is represented by the greater facility with which the proceeds of the illegal and criminal activities can circulate. An action of prevention in this field requires a transformation of the instruments, competence, professional training, even perhaps, of the organizational structure of the Police Corps. How is the Guadia di Finanze equipped to counteract the illegal element in the global market?
In fact, the process of globalization has contributed to increase, in an exponential way, not only the economic growth opportunities and development of legal enterprises, but also the activities of the criminal groups, always more sophisticated and operating on markets by now above-national.
It is a statement of fact already made by the G8 Summit of Birmingham, in 1998, where it was underlined that the increase of trans-national crime constitutes a threat not only to the citizens and their communities, but is a global danger that could undermine the democratic and economic foundations of the societies, through the investments of illicit money by international cartels, through corruption, through the weakening of the Institutions and the loss of faith in the legally constituted State.
In recent years, to effectively deal with the new forms of economic and financial criminality, the entire organization of the Units of the Corp has been, as I have already mentioned, revisited and modernized.
The characterizing element of the new governing model is constituted by the synergy between the special Units, charged with maintaining a steady surveillance of the segment of expertise (tutelage of the “inflow” and of the “outflow”, of the “capital market ” and of the “goods and services market”) and the territorial ones, to be able to intervene transversally in all the areas of our mission.
In particular, with reference to the activities carried out to counter the economic criminality and, specifically, the organized criminality,
recycling, usury, financing of terrorism and the various typologies of corporate crimes, banking, bankruptcy, the Guardia di Finanza daily commits:
- at the central level, the Special Monetary Police Nucleus, with a cadre of more than 400 military in possession of consolidated experience in matters of financial and patrimonial investigations, as well as Central Service of Investigation of Organized Crime, with tasks of analysis and operative direction of the Units on the territory. Always at a central level, the Special Telematics Fraud Nucleus operates, which disposes of a professionalism adequate to deal with crimes actuated through the “Internet” network;
- at the peripheral level, 710 territorial Units, constituted by Nuclei of Excise and Revenue Police, Groups, Companies, Lieutenant Squads, and Brigades, which represent the support structure of the operational activities of the Guardia di Finanza and they are distributed in a capillary way throughout the Provinces.
Naturally, we are dealing with operative structures constituted by qualified personnel who are constantly kept up to date, also through means of courses of the e-learning modality, which are able to reach an ample audience of pupils: it is sufficient to recall that, in 2008 alone, courses of such typology were created and developed in matters of countering money laundering and financing of terrorism, and were directed towards almost 4,000 military. At the same time, as was held to be essential by all the Organizations, Institutions and the above-national Bodies and in the ambit of the studies carried out by experts and analysts of the specific sector, it was indispensable to strengthen the cooperation between the bodies of Law Enforcement of the various Countries and, therefore, intensify – quantitatively and qualitatively –the presence and the operativeness of the Guardia di Finanza also in the international scenario, through:
- the detachment of numerous Liaison Officers at the various EU and International Organizations, for example, the Vienna Office of the
United Nations Unit against Drugs and Crime, the European Office Fight against Fraud, the European Office of Police (EUROPOL), The World Organization of Customs, the European Agency for the management of the operative cooperation at the external frontiers (FRONTEX);
- the detachment of 12 experts in their capacity as Specialists at the diplomatic representations and Italian consular offices abroad;
- the participation in international missions directed to the reconstruction of the administrative structures, legal, police and customs of Countries coming out of conflicts and to the training of the relative personnel, obviously in the material of expertise.
A constant of our model of strategic planning is now the continual analysis of the contexts of reference, of the threats to be faced and of the opportunities to pull together our weak and strong points, in order to adapt with immediacy – if it is the case – our structures, the areas of intervention and the operative procedures.

The technical progress has radically innovated the communication systems. A Net civilization has come into being, which has favoured not only the production and distribution of merchandise, but also the diffusion of culture and social conquests. The Net brings not only instruction, rights, innovations, resources, but also threats and malfeasance. The Net is popular and feared. Among the new fears is that of the swindle and of the illicit informatics, of the harm to people as a consequence of violation of privacy. In this field, the expertise of the Guardia di Finanza is fundamental. How does the prevention work function? What must be done to repress the crime, educate the consumers to be vigilant and render the Net liveable, without too much anxiety
The Internet network constitutes the new frontier of the illicit trafficking, assuring maximum speed in the transactions and guaranteeing the sensation of substantial anonymity.
The cyber-space is characterized by a basic asymmetry which sees, on the one side, the “pirates” of the Net drawing on always more advanced technology to avoid the risk of being traced, on the other side, the normal
user who, on the average, does not possess the capacity or the necessary instruments to protect himself against this kind of attack. All of us have had the occasion to hear about spamming, phishing and other forms of misuse and fraud carried out through and by means of the Net. It concerns, in fact, criminal offences that can affect a vast number of unaware users and can cause serious damage.
The utilization of the Internet for illegal ends is, by now, a daily reality and facts demonstrate how, through the Net, it is possible to perpetrate authentic crimes against property, and crimes that attempt to harm individual freedom.
But, today, other types of threats appear on the Web, such as, for example, those posed by drug traffickers and terrorists who use the Net to communicate among themselves and for their own propagandistic offensive.
Also, we must not forget that there are phenomena, not less dangerous, connected with the protection of the informatics systems and sensitive structures, with the possibility of intrusion that is able to impair essential services of the Country. To adequately face such threats, besides the actions of the Investigative Police ordinarily carried out by the Excise and Revenue Police Nuclei, and by the Territorial Units, the Guardia di Finanza has organized, as already mentioned, a Special Telematics Fraud Nucleus, especially assigned to the monitoring of the Internet network to prevent, seek and pursue, through this instrument, the illicit perpetrators, principally of the economic-financial type frauds.
It is a Unit composed of highly specialized people, possessing, aside from the traditional investigative abilities, elevated technological expertise.
Through its own internet site, , the Special Telematics Fraud Nucleus also performs an important educative action, offering, without high technicalities and also with pages especially dedicated to younger people, information and advice for a safe usage of the Net and of its boundless potentiality.
In the knowledge that the defence of legality necessarily passes through a capillary operation of prevention and of information for the citizens, the Guardia di Finanza attributes particular attention to the communication campaigns, especially when it concerns the young people. In this sense, the Commander General has recently distributed a vade mecum entitled “Can we give you some advice?” a reader-friendly guide to forestall the malfeasance that daily presents itself on the Net. It has been created, keeping account of the matured operative experience “in the field”, as well as, the information that the citizens constantly request from our Central Office of Public Relations.

Italy and the developed Countries have provided themselves with independent authorities destined to guarantee the functioning of the market and of segments of productive or financial activities. It concerns Institutions with tasks of orientation, investigation and the power to impose sanctions. They are Institutions fundamental to the market and the competition in the global economy. Also here there is a new space for actions of the Guardia di Finanza. How has it been dealt with?
Both the Guardia di Finanza and the various Authorities assigned to regulate and control the specific segments of market entrusted to them have, from the beginning, felt the strong necessity of implementing every possible form of synergy, often provided, however, by the regulations of reference.
To this end it has been provided to formalize the material modalities of actuation of the cooperation between Corp and independent Authorities in appropriate protocol of agreement, which, in general, provide for the intervention of the Special Units for the activities of analysis and operative coordination, and for the territorial Units to effect specific controls.
In this regard, protocol agreements have been signed with the Bank of Italy, for the monitoring-surveillance of the banking and credit system, with the CONSOB, for the vigilance on the regulated securities market, with the ISVAP, for controls concerning insurance companies, with the COVIP, for the sector of the subsidiary social security.
In the ambit of the goods and services market, I still remember the protocol agreements stipulated with the guarantor Authority of the competition and market; the Authority for the vigilance on the public contracts of works, services and suppliers, the Authority for the electric energy and gas, and the guarantor Authority in communications. Normally, the controls are carried out on the basis of specific requests of collaboration that the Authorities direct to the competent Units. At times, the preliminary investigation activities consist in the development of investigations autonomously opened by the Commands of the Corp, on the basis of data, information and news acquired “in the field”.
Finally, the Corp collaborates with the Guarantor for the protection of given personnel, also in this case on the basis of a finalized protocol agreement, principally, to provide aid to such Authority in the exercise of its inspection functions and in the control on the state of actuation of the regulations of the sector.

A source of rapid multiplication of crime proceeds is represented by the traffic of narcotics. It forms a market that continues to feed the crime circuit, which leads to devastating consequences in the society. The investigations on financial flows are fundamental for the repression of the commerce, circulation and peddling of drugs. How does the Guardia di Finanza operate in this field?
To verify how the traffic of narcotic substances constitutes one of the major sources of profit of the criminal organizations, it is sufficient to leaf through the pages of the data supplied by the United Nations in the World Drug Report 2008: in 2006, in relation to prices oscillating in the order of a few dollars per gram in the production Countries, in Italy, the wholesale cost of cocaine was estimated at US$52.9 per gram, to arrive at US$104 per gram, in the case of retail sale.
Considering the extremely significant margins of profit produced with each passage, it is evident how the factor tied to the re-employment of the accumulated capital and to the relative financial flows assumes a central criminal importance and represents the founding aspect of the commitment of the Guardia di Finanza also in this sector.
The activities of the Corp Units finalized to oppose this criminal scourge are developed on three converging lines, which play on:
- the control of the movements of goods and passengers at the ground and airport frontiers, in the exercise of the historical duties of the Customs Police;
- on the air-sea surveillance of the maritime borders, in the context of the most ample action of control of the territory exercised on the sea to prevent, search and repress the illicit traffic of contraband, narcotic substances, arms, clandestine immigration and other serious crimes;
- on the Investigative Police enquires developed, above all, by the Specialized anti-drug Unit of the Nuclei of the Excise and Revenue Police, often in collaboration with the collateral bodies, aimed at disjointing the criminal structures, attacking them, aiming as much at providing elements that allow the legal Authorities to issue restrictive measures of a personal character, as at following parallel investigations of a patrimonial character, with the objective of interrupting the fuelling of the financial channels and those channels of the consequent recycling of the illicit proceeds obtained.
To give a dimension of the commitment of the Guardia di Finanza in the specific sector, it is sufficient to think that from 2006 until today, it has referred almost 29 thousand subjects to the Judicial Authorities, of which over 9 thousand held in arrest, and has seized circa 60 tons of drugs.
They are very substantial figures, which correspond to 70% of the cocaine, to 73% of the heroin and to 64% of the hashish and marijuana seized altogether in our Country.

Globalization has led to the considerable increase in the falsification of merchandise. The threat does not concern businesses only, but also the consumers for the offer of harmful/unsafe goods. The falsification produces large profits serving itself of a distributive network composed of very weak subjects. How is it possible to fight it striking only the terminals, but not the centres of the distribution? There is much alarm over the question of falsification because of the flow of products originating from Countries that have only recently entered the WTO. Also certain zones in Italy were, however, traditional places of the “fake” industry. What is the present situation? Is there some interweaving between the national falsification industry and the foreign one?
In Italy the traffic of faked merchandise represents a conspicuous slice of a phenomenon that involves all of the European Union: according to the last Report of the Brussels Commission, the seized products in 2007 by the Customs of the 27 Partner Community Countries were 79 million pieces, of which 60% originates from China.
In this context, 22% of the total of the European seizures took place at the borders of our Country by the Agencies of the Customs and the Guardia di Finanza.
This is a part quota of the over 270 million falsified or unsafe products intercepted by the Units of the Corp in the last three years, with the referral to the Judicial Authorities of 53,000 subjects, among whom 1,640 investigated for criminal conspiracy.
Our objective, in fact, is that of exercising the control of the territory, aiming at the reconstruction of the die of the fake, with an end to striking at the origins of the organizations that manage the production centres, the channels of importation and storage, as well as those of distribution of the merchandise to the final phase of sale to the public, which is effected not only by the street vendors (illegal and not), but also through the illegal e-commerce and the network of regular shops, where the false merchandise is offered to the clientele in a fraudulent way alongside that of the original.
The operative approach to the problem concerns not only the repression of the crime of falsification in the strictest sense, but also the impeding of
all the illicit acts connected to this phenomenon: I refer to fiscal and contribution evasions; to the recycling of the huge proceeds gained; to the exploitation of ‘under the counter’ work; to the favouring of clandestine immigration; to the violations in matters of safety of the products and of the health of the consumers. Special attention is given to those areas where, traditionally, the centres of production, storage and sorting of the various falsified goods are hidden, such as – for example – the Florentine Prato territory, for clothing and leather products, and the well-known Campana area.

The dishonest competition is not only fed by the criminality, but also by the ‘under the counter’ work, and by inhuman exploitation of the worker.
Globalization favours the establishment of new foreign micro-businesses that often do not respect the regulations in force regarding labour and crime prevention. Globalization offers a labour force at low cost that is often used, evading even the most elementary rules of safety. In certain cases, a ruthless market of manpower managed by the organized criminality in employed. What can be done to defend human rights in this field?
I would emphasize that one of the principal factors of appeal to the foreigners seeking work on our territory is this very request for illegal manpower by businesses and economic operators. This is the fundamental correlation between irregular work and the clandestine immigration flows.
This has determined the parallel proliferation of traffickers and intermediaries able to plan the arrivals of the clandestine immigrants and re-route them to the zones characterized by the highest concentration of the demand for manpower.
Also in this case the Corp adopts an ample and transversal operative approach, connoted by an investigative matrix structure, in the expectations of identifying not only the fiscal and contribution irregularities that are a consequence of irregular employment relations, but also to strike the other criminal offences that are connected with this phenomenon: clandestine immigration; illegal brokerage in the placement of the manpower and the criminal exploitation of the workers.
In the period January, 2005 – November, 2008, our Units identified altogether, 127,218 irregular and ‘under the counter’ workers, of which 25,626 non-EC immigrants; in this year to date, the irregular positions discovered are 31,109, of which 5,980 of non-EC immigrants. In our
actions, we do not neglect to place particular attention on the safety measures in the work place: in fact, in this ambit although this expertise is entrusted to specific bodies individuated by law (Ministry of Work, Health Organizations and the Fire Department), there are certain regulations of a prevention nature, the application of which can be activated also on the basis of reports originating from other Institutions which, under various titles qualify as devices of surveillance, among which also the Guardia di Finanza.
I refer to the suspension of the entrepreneurial activities provided for in the complete Law Text regarding safety and health in the work place, for cases in which the employment of irregular workers is superior to 20% of the entire work force employed; and, in this ambit, in 2008, the Units of the Corp advanced 172 proposals of suspension to the bodies competent in the assumption of the appropriate measures, with an increase of 25% compared to 2007.

Globalization favours also the movements of criminal organizations having strong national and ethnic connotations, to the areas where greater wealth exists and where it is possible to operate availing themselves of the surprise effect. Have analyses been made on the network of the foreign mafias? At what point is the work of counteraction?
From reading the newspapers, which comment, everyday, on the services carried out by the Police Forces, the capacity of the more structured organizations is clearly demonstrated in their knowing how to gather and exploit both the opportunities deriving from the opening-up of the markets and the frontiers, and the use of technological instruments that have eased the contacts and the transfer of financial resources.
In this delicate context, nevertheless, it would be an over simplification to think of our Country as a destination of exogenous forms of criminality: memories are still alive of episodes which have viewed us as “exporters” of
organized criminality. The Duisburg massacre of August, 2007, is a clear testimony.
Having made this necessary observation, it is opportune to underline how, in the same way as the organizations of exogenous matrix, also the criminal dynamics that characterize the organizations of ethnic foundation are constantly monitored and analyzed by the Guardia di Finanza. Along side the classic criminal organizations, rooted in a determinate geographic area and with contacts with other Nations, trans-national criminal organizations have become diffused, or rather, united with criminal conspiracy in other Countries, the activities of which include also the recycling of illicit proceeds obtained by the traditional mafias or from their traffic with foreign Countries for the purchase of arms and drugs.
A typical example of criminality operating at a trans-national level is constituted by the Chinese criminality, which fuels the circuits of the trade of fellow-countrymen and of falsified goods, to the management and exploitation of clandestine immigrants, extortion, documental forgery, smuggling and falsification. In this regard, I would like to cite the generous and abundant efforts of the Corp in the performance of aimed investigative activities with regard to financial transfers – outside of the National borders – in amounts of over one billion euro per year, in violation of anti-recycling regulations in force in our Country.
The Albanian criminality, on the contrary, operates principally in the international traffic of narcotics. In the case of the North African criminality – considered the contiguity of certain elements with the environments of Islamic Fundamentalism – the trans-national factor and the widespread clandestine immigration can be a potential vehicle of threats of terrorism and illicit financing to the groups of this matrix.
Always on the subject of operations at trans-national level, the growing danger of the Nigerian criminality cannot be sidelined, activity in the sector of international traffic of narcotics and in the trading and reduction to slavery of human beings finalized to the exploitation of prostitution.
The Romanian criminality merits particular mention. These ethnic groups, in fact, continue their identification with high technical competence in cloning and illicit utilization of means of electronic payment (debit and/or credit cards and an always larger competitiveness in the trading of human beings and in the exploitation of prostitution.
As far as the activity of counteraction is concerned, it should be noted that this matter is the subject of frequent new regulations among which,
the emanation of the Law 16th March, 2006, No. 146, communicating the ratification and execution of the United Nations Convention and Protocols against the trans-national organized crime, in which ref: Art 3. the definition of “trans-national crime” was introduced into our System.
Above and beyond the instruments of repression, it must be underlined that the best form of aggression against such phenomena is constituted by the recourse to models of international collaboration, both at Police Force level and at a judicial level.
The elaboration of always more developed partnerships – which aim at reducing the times of response of the various judicial systems – is today, the principal object on the international work desk concerned with the specific matter and constitute, without confutation, the most suitable instruments to give an efficacious response to all forms of organized crime.

The International Community urges strong vigilance on what are called the “finances of terrorism”. Is it necessary here, to combine the expertise in financial analyses with a work of Intelligence? How do you operate in this field?
In fact, as a consequence of the terrorist attacks of 11th September, 2001, the entire International Community felt very strongly the need for decisive counter-action to terrorism, not only from a military viewpoint, as for the criminal organizations, but also from the financial aspect. The necessity was vigorously stressed of “cutting” any possible source of financing to terrorist formations in all their most varied ethnic groups and origins.
It is necessary, among other things, to consider that both authoritative studies at international level and the investigative evidence of the Corp have clarified that the cells and groups of terrorists finance themselves not only through the commission of crimes and illicit activities in general (as for example, the traffic of narcotic substances and arms), but also through investments in perfectly legal entrepreneurial activities and speculative manoeuvres on the financial markets, as well as through the generosity collections paid by members of the community of origin.
This leads to a further, important consideration: the infiltrations in the legal economy, the utilization of the markets and financial circuits by the terrorist organizations or by their supporters or associates, for which the ultimate objective is that of self-financing, not only represents a specific risk factor to the proliferation of such groups, but also a threat to the stability, solidity and correctness of money movements, of securities and valuables of the entire economic and financial system.
It is still to be kept in mind that the channels utilized by the terrorist groups to transfer financial resources – variously acquired – to their strategic centres, are the same employed by the criminal organizations for the recycling of illegal proceeds. With the difference that, while the objective of the recycler is that of concealing the origin of the resources, the financer of terrorism does not always need to disguise such origin, which can be legal, but rather to hide its ultimate objective and destination.
In this framework, the Guardia di Finanza completes and strengthens the anti-terrorism investigative apparatus, which weighs mostly on the other two Police Forces of general expertise, placing alongside of the traditional repressive action the development of preventive and collateral investigations aimed at the financial flows that feed the investments to the advantage of the national and international criminal groups.
It is done, in particular, through the Special Nucleus of the Currency Police, a special Unit that performs the activity of protecting the financial markets, operating in the sectors of service specifically regarding recycling, and the financing of terrorism. In this operative context, the Corp principally follows two lines of counteraction:
- on the one side, the systematic reconstruction is done of the patrimonial goods and financial flows connected to all persons and associations on the black lists and/or suspected to be part of terrorist type organizations, pinning down the origin and channelling of eventual revenue, even of small amounts, especially if it is repetitive;
- on the other side, aimed inspections are developed in relation to the money transfer agencies, with the purpose of pin pointing conspicuous movements of capital from and to abroad, carried through these circuits parallel to the banking world, which are now ramified throughout the territory and move considerable amounts of money across the frontiers, very often without an adequate filter of prevention and active collaboration with the Authorities delegated to the vigilance of the sector.
This last is a particularly important and delicate ambit, in which the Units, in the January, 2005 - September, 2008 period, carried out 2,131 intervention, reporting to the Judicial Authorities a good 1,647 cases of
illegal practice of the financial intermediation activity.
The activities of the Investigative Police are particularly intense: among the more significant investigative operations worthy of note, which was developed recently, is that conducted by the Excise and Revenue Police Nucleus of Trento (operation “L’ESSERE UNICO”), which carried out, with the help of numerous Units of the Guardia di Finanza of North Italy, circa 60 seizures in relation to subjects adherent to the political-religious movement “AL ADL WAL IHSSAN –Justice and Charity”, which is outlawed in Morocco.
The investigations, carried out in strict synergy with the Carabinieri Force, have allowed the reconstruction of the organizational structure of the movement, the identification of hundreds of adherents and to trace a
scheme on the sources of financing and on the channels used to transfer the collected funds abroad.
All the information acquired – remaining valid the legislative limits in force – is constantly exchanged, as much in the internal ambit as in the international, with the foreign corresponding Organizations, which in addition, are similarly furnished with information on the trans-frontiersmen movements of incoming and outgoing cash from the EU and on the moving of valuable assets between two or more Member States.

The global financial crisis, the events of the stock markets, the risks of incursions of an illicit finance or of a finance oriented by the interests of Sovereign States, multiply. The crisis is a matter of producing regulation and proceedings that are up to the Governmental Authorities. There is, however, also a work of Intelligence that can/must favour public action. How is the Corp equipped to handle the many consequences of the crisis?
In this context of financial instability, it has been decided to intervene on the territory immediately, with the objective of furnishing rapid and concrete responses and give, in this way, signs of confidence to the savers,the businesses and to the financial transactors who operate legally on the national territory.
Recently, prevention and counteraction have been further increased against the more serious and insidious pathological phenomena which, more than others, can effect the liquidity of the small investors and the
stability of the credit market, putting at risk the solidity, transparency and correctness of financial movements.For this reason, the operative attention is turned towards those activities finalized to verify respect for the relative regulations of:
- the transparency of the financial conditions, with reference to the verification of the interest rates for the usury loans;
- the contractual conditions being public, to avoid transmitting misleading messages to the public;
- prevention of credit and financial fraud;
- the sector of market misuse, in relation to possible speculative conduct concerning the placement and utilization of financial instruments intended to artificially alter and influence the value of quoted and non-quoted shares and securities of societies.
In addition, an elevated operative pressure will be maintained in anti-recycling investigations, in consideration of the fact that the depreciation in stock market value of the shares of the principal Italian businesses could constitute a risk factor of the increment of the recycling operations and the reinvestment of dirty capital in the production system, including the “capture” of the same businesses.
On the basis of the matured investigative experience, particular attention will be placed to the examination of facts of management and /or financial operations potentially “at risk” for the saver and investor groups, such as:
- issue of loan bonds of substantial amounts;
- the special operations of issuing societies from which false information can emerge which, diffused on the market is able to alter the value of the negotiated securities;
- the “inter-company operations” with economic subjects collocated in ‘paradise’ banking and financiers;
- the operations on financial instruments, with particular regard to the derivatives, given that in some cases the latter have been utilized not for
reasons of risk or speculation coverage, but to obtain advantages that lie outside the natural ratio of the products themselves.

The new duties of the Guardia di Finanza do not eclipse the traditional ones: the observance of the contributory obligations. A correct fuelling of the Public Treasury is always more necessary in a society that asks not only market protection, but also social protection. The analyses on fiscal evasion are often one-sided and conducted on the basis of unchecked parameters. Is an impartial evaluation of the phenomenon possible? Are there geographic/territorial or cultural variables in the phenomenon of tax evasion?
The fight against any form of tax avoidance and evasion continues to be the overriding mission of the Guardia di Finanza; testimony to this are the more than 30,000 in-depth verifications which we carry out every year and the more than 820,000 interventions of a more expeditious character which, every year, we still develop to control the correct fulfilment of the accounting and instrumental obligations imposed on the taxpayer.
Until October of this year, we have discovered larger undeclared incomes in the amount of 24.3 billion Euro; IVA evasion for circa 4 billion Euro, as well as larger taxable bases to the IRAP (Regional Taxation on Productive Activities) for 18.6 billion Euro, with confirmation, as regards the first two tax imposition sectors, of the performances obtained last year; and a net improvement – equal to 45% more, when compared to the same period of 2007, with regard to the IRAP.
If, on the one side, the figures I have cited give evidence of the daily commitment of our Units, on the other, they show how the problem of tax evasion continues to represent an important criticality for our State, which incises heavily on the prospect of social and economic growth.
As far as the estimation of the dimensions of this phenomenon is concerned, the statistically neutral analyses are those that are based on the national accounting data; in this context, scrolling down the tables of the last document issued regarding the ISTAT (National Institute of Statistics), with reference to the year 2006, it is possible to see that the added value of the grey economy – or rather of that part of the fiscally important activity that is not declared – attests to a figure that oscillates between 220 and 250 billion Euro, corresponding to a percentage inclusive between 15.3 and 16.9% of the GDP.

Tax evasion is fought also favouring knowledge of the transactions. An exaggerated control, however, could put at risk the liberty of the business. An excess of transparency can make the economic operation vulnerable to different types of disloyal competition. When names and incomes of taxpayers are put on line, there is even the fear of risking extortion and kidnapping! How can private initiative, innovation and privacy be reconciled with the rigorous respect for tax obligations?
Data on transactions, operations and movement of goods and money can be object of cross-checking and analysis “in theory”, thanks to which, it is possible to identify – with an end to prevention – description indicators of possible conduct of evasion, both to the full advantage of an aimed selection of the operative interventions that permits the avoidance of “mass control”, and to a systematic aggression of the phenomena of particularly serious and diffused evasion on the territory. From this viewpoint, a great help comes to us from the informatics technology, which allows us to handle enormous quantities of information, with contained waste of time and resources and, above all, with unlimited possibilities of elaboration.
On the other hand, it is a known fact that, for the taxpayer, the communication of information to the Revenue Department on one’s own tax position can, in certain cases, constitute a heavy burden, even though I feel, that it is precisely thanks to the modern technology that the material burdens, in recent years, have been notably lightened.
To cite an example, I refer to the financial investigations which, for two years now, no longer require the exchange of paper documents between financial intermediaries and Organizations of control, since they are all developed exclusively on line, through a special telematics connection which guarantees a notable streamlining of procedural flows and a consequent saving of time in the execution of the verifications. On the basis of this picture of the situation, the necessity of operating a correct balance of the interests in play emerges: on the one side, those of the Financial Administration able to dispose of a quantity of information adequate to exercise, in an optimal manner, its institutional prerogatives and, on the other side, that of the taxpayer to collaborate with the fiscal Authority without suffering negative repercussions in terms of operational activity and free initiative.
Clearly, it is a task of balance which is the responsibility of the Legislator. As far as the protection of privacy is concerned, I feel I am able to assure that all our military who are employed in the activities of fiscal verification are amply aware of the obligations that the Law provides in this field, as in the same way, all the rights and guarantees ascribable to the taxpayers.