Masonic Lodge Busted for Illegal Activities
According to one report, a Masonic lodge in Trapani, Sicily was recently busted for its connection to illegal activities. Police codenamed the operation "Artemisia" and have arrested 27 people during the raid on the "masonic lodge."
Among those arrested are numerous local politicians, a former federal lawmaker and a former mayor of Castelvetrano commune, local officials, and several police officers who were all implicated in the lodge's illegal activities.
Charges include corruption, bribery, drug trafficking, embezzlement, and interfering with the work of the judicial system. Those arrested face criminal charges of crimes against the local administration, justice system, and for organizing a crime syndicate.
The lodge reportedly had great influence over the local government and influenced the distribution of its budget. It's members also allegedly managed to obtain secret information about ongoing investigations and influence them by tampering with evidence.
The group was reportedly also involved in a number of other illegal undertakings, including drug trafficking, bribery, fraud, and embezzlement. In addition to the 27 already arrested, police are interviewing 10 others whom they suspect of helping the lodge's activities.
Notably, the lodge itself was based in Castelvetrano — the hometown of one of the Cosa Nostra's leaders, Matteo Messina Denaro, who is considered to be one of the world's most dangerous criminals and who has long been wanted under an international arrest warrant.