Giuseppe Mandara, head of Italian cheese-making family business Mandara Group, has been arrested for alleged ties to the Camorra.
According to media reports, the third-generation president of the family firm – one of the country’s biggest buffalo mozzarella-makers – was taken into custody this week. Company assets worth about €100 million were also seized.
Investigators alleged that Mandara had received huge sums of money from the Camorra – the infamous Naples-based mafia organisation – to help it through tough times.
Investigators also said that the company illegally mixed cows milk with buffalo milk to make mozzarella. Concerns also arose that some cheese may have been contaminated with ceramic residue from a broken machine, AFP news agency reported.
Following news of the arrest, 56-year-old Giuseppe, who has often portrayed himself as the Armani of mozzarella, was ousted as a member of the Consortium for the Protection of Buffalo Cheese Companies, which said in a statement that the allegations are “very serious”.