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Allegrini 2018
WINE AND NEWS

Attempted extortion against “Sassicaia” foiled by Livorno Carabinieri

The investigation started after a complaint by Tenuta San Guido. Investigated 47-year-old man who had demanded 150,000, threatening damage
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Tenuta San Guido, where Sassicaia, Bolgheri’s princely wine, is born

Being icons, wine myths, means being the focus of the market, collectors and enthusiasts. But, sometimes, also of wrongdoers, as happened to Tenuta San Guido, cradle of Sassicaia, victim of an attempted extortion foiled by Carabinieri of the Livorno Investigative Unit. Who investigated a 47-year-old man, resident in the province of Trieste, who had demanded the winery, covering his identity with digital tools, to pay 150,000 euros, on pain of damaging structures and vineyards. Blackmail that the company immediately reported, in March 2022, and foiled by law enforcement.
Carabinieri investigations, in fact, explains the AdnKronos agency, began in late March 2022, after acquiring the news of the crime directly from the winery’s top management.
The management of Tenuta San Guido had reported to the military the receipt of a series of threatening messages transmitted via email with which an unknown criminal organization informed that it had expensive assets and facilities under attack. Specifically, in order to avoid the very serious damage threatened, the top management and owners had been requested to immediately pay a large sum of money, which was around 150,000 euros, to be carried out using a “covered” therefore untraceable procedure, through particular websites where transactions to transform euros into Bitcoin digital currency were carried out.
Under the direction of the Livorno Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Livorno Carabinieri Investigative Unit put highly specialized personnel in computer investigations to work. The operations were first oriented in the study of the network architecture of the whole company starting from the clients reached by the extortionate messages, until, at a later stage, to be branched, according to the most modern systems of sharing confidential investigative information, on the appropriate international channels for the through Interpol and Europol police offices.
The investigation led to the identification of a 47-year-old Italian subject, resident in the province of Trieste, already burdened with numerous police records for similar and repeated criminal conduct, anonymized through the expert use of computer tools. The man allegedly made use of several anonymous e-mail accounts, created by providers with servers attested abroad, precisely to inhibit their detection and location. The individual is already the subject of investigations conducted by specialized police offices also from other countries of the European Union, as well as believed to be responsible for extortionary threats directed at other companies based in Italy, mainly active in the production and marketing of foodstuffs in Europe and around the world.
The investigations, therefore, were coordinated by the Livorno Public Prosecutor’s Office, in close synergy with that of Rome, which - in turn - acted as a collector, for Italy, of the various European police offices involved. The extortion affair against “Sassicaia” ended last week, when from a careful analysis of the computer data extracted from the devices seized from the suspect, it was possible to acquire evidence that would lead back to the 47-year-old the authorship of the repeated extortion initiatives. The investigation still continues with activities to analyze the data within the forensic copies of the copious digital material in the suspect’s possession.

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