POP icon Sting says he unwittingly employed a company with alleged links to the Italian mafia to carry out work on a 900-acre estate he owns in Tuscany.
The British singer unknowingly hired the firm, which police say was controlled by the Naples-based Camorra mafia, to restore six cottages on the 16th century Il Palagio estate near Florence. The cottages, clustered around the main house in which Sting lives with his wife, Trudie Styler, can be rented out by the public for £6,000 (€7,300) a week each.
Police said two mafia-controlled companies, GGF and PDP Construction, were based in the nearby town of San Giovanni Valdarno and were also hired to carry out restoration work on the world-famous Uffizi Galleries in Florence. The firms were allegedly run by Giovanni Potenza (62) who was found guilty in 2007 of having links to the Camorra.
The Camorra has extended its reach far beyond its traditional stronghold in Naples and its hinterland.
The revelations came after an investigation that ended on Wednesday with the arrest of six people.