|A Jersey bank has frozen eight million euros ($9.08 million) of suspected Mafia money in what Italian police said on Wednesday was a first instance of help from a tax haven in the fight on organised crime.
''This is an important operation because it is the first time a state considered a tax haven has helped the Italian state (in an anti-Mafia action),'' Francesco Fontanarosa, a senior police officer in the southern Italian town of Bari, told reporters.
A Jersey court ordered frozen the account of Gerardo Cuomo, who is under trial for complicity with the Mafia, on request from an Italian anti-Mafia magistrate in Bari. Cuomo, who police say has taken part in drugs and arms trafficking and in people smuggling, denies all the charges. He is forbidden from leaving his Bologna home during legal action against him.
''I have never had anything to do with weapons, drugs or illegal immigrants. I deny that I am a Mafia boss,'' Cuomo said in a statement on Wednesday.