Monday October 22 2018
Juventus wiretaps revealed

An investigative report explains how Juventus ultras came to be involved in a trial for alleged mafia ticket touting.

In July of 2016, a Bianconeri ultra, Raffaello Bucci, was found dead at the bottom of a viaduct in Fossano.

He had allegedly been involved in providing the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia, with tickets sold on credit to the ultras by Juventus which were then sold on for a profit.

Club President Andrea Agnelli was interviewed as a witness by anti-mafia police but has never been charged with any knowing links with organised crime.

The FIGC banned Agnelli for a year, which was later reduced to three months on appeal, but that was simply for breaking ticket selling rules.

Tonight Rai’s ‘Report’ aired a special programme devoted to the case, which began with a Juve-Milan match in April 2013.

A banner in the Curva Sud reading ‘i Gobbi’ was taken by the Turin prosecutor to be a signal that the ‘Ndrangheta had infiltrated the Juve ultras.

The key man in the investigation was Rocco Dominello, the son of an alleged mafia boss, who is claimed to have started touting tickets.

Juventus, it is claimed, had for years known that the ultras were selling tickets after being provided them, though there is no suggestion that they knew the briefs were going to the ‘Ndrangheta.

Bucci had become involved in the ticket touting, and for two years his phone was tapped by investigators.

According to Report, there are just three hours of missing data - the hours before he died. That anomaly was due to a power surge in the severs at the prosecutor’s office.

Before his death Bucci had been a key lieutenant for the leader of the Drughi ultras group, Dino Mocciola.

Mocciola is a notorious figure, who does not use the internet or a mobile phone. The last known picture of him dates back to 1989, a mug shot taken after his arrest and subsequent imprisonment for an armed robbery which led to the death of a policeman.

For years a banner at the Stadio delle Alpi read "ciao Dino", a message to the imprisoned ultra leader.

He was released in 2005 and immediately banned from attending matches, with the Roma ultra group Fedayn greeting him with a "ciao Dino, welcome back" banner in February of that year.

Following his release, Mocciola's Drughi looked to re-establish themselves at the expense of the Black & White Fighters who controlled the Curva Sud, and Mocciola himself was stabbed in a fight between rival groups in 2006.

Eventually though the Drughi established themselves as the dominant ultra group, and with Mocciola unable to attend matches much of the running of the club was delegated.

Raffaello Bucci, who had an accountancy degree, was put in charge of the financial side of things, including the touting of tickets.

As a result, he became heavily implicated when the 'Ndrangheta later allegedly became involved.

Bucci had also been given a sort of liaison role by the club in the year before his death, as they sought to reduce the influence of the Drughi.

He was a popular and recognisable figure on the Curva Sud, so the Bianconeri wanted to use him as an intermediary as they reduced tickets given to the ultras.

When Bucci came under scrutiny from the investigation he is said to have become afraid, given that he was dealing with both the club and the ultras, as well as, allegedly, the ‘Ndrangheta.

While the official verdict on his autopsy was suicide, his former partner Gabriella Bernardis claims that “you could see he had been beaten” in the mortuary, while a family lawyer talked about a cut above his eye and other signs on his body that weren’t consistent with his fall from the viaduct.

There then followed a wiretap of former Juventus head of security, Alessandro D’Angelo, and former commercial director Francesco Calvo, who worked for Barcelona at the time.

D’Angelo tells Calvo “he’s dead”, and the former director replies “I know, I already knew”.

D’Angelo goes on to say that Bucci was “terrified yesterday”, fearing the ‘Ndrangheta would “kill him at any moment because he spoke with the prosecutors”.

The programme claims that neither man was interviewed by prosecutors about those statements.

Federico Ruffo, the host of the programme, is then shown pursuing former general manager Giuseppe Marotta to ask about the wiretap, but Marotta makes no comment.

Bucci had been co-operating with investigators, and 48 hours before his death sent a text to a redacted number stating that he was “in the ****”.

One common tactic used by the ‘Ndrangheta to launder money is the Lotto and scratch cards, and Report states that Bucci won €3111 in a single day’s play, and €200,000 in total.

In the two days before he died, it’s claimed he won around €25,000, and all the receipts came from a tobacconist in Cuneo.

The tobacconist was contacted by Ruffo, who insisted that all of the winnings were legitimate, even when it was put to him that Bucci must have been “the luckiest man in Italy”.

Bucci’s phone contained records of the people being given tickets. Those tickets were allegedly supplied by Juventus, something which happens at almost every Italian club and which has never been denied.

However, the links between the ultras and the club came under intense scrutiny, with allegations former security manager Alessandro D’Angelo allowed offensive banners about Superga into the stadium for a derby with Torino, to prevent the Curva Sud going on strike.

The banners were hidden in backpacks and flasks to avoid detection. Agnelli knew negotiations were taking place with the fans, Report states, but didn’t know the banners would be allowed in.

However, his security manager did allegedly inform him the following day, which was not reported to the authorities.

D’Angelo is also alleged to have witnessed ticket touting outside of the stadium on match days and turned a blind eye.

The programme contained an interview with Andrea Puntorno or the Bravi Ragazzi ultras group.

"I bought two houses and a bakery," he claims. "There were 600-700 of us, but not all from Turin. We took care of the tickets, and made some money.

"Where did the tickets come from? From Juventus, it's normal isn't it? It's always been like that.

"We did it with no problems, we were charging up to €200-300 depending on the game.

"If we couldn't get enough? We'd make a record of anyone who threw firecrackers, on the agreement that Juventus would give us tickets."

Lapo Elkann, brother of Exor President John Elkann and grandson of Gianni Agnelli is also implicated for being too close to the Drughi ultras.

It is claimed that he was pushing to become Juve President in 2009, and met with Rocco Dominello around that time.

Elkann is said to have asked for banners to be displayed reading 'Lapo Presidente' at the Stadio Olimpico.

Fabio Germani, who was convicted on appeal in the trial for mafia involvement is heard speaking to Dominello.

"He can make an appointment if he wants our support," Dominello says.

"But you know what support he wants..."

"No, but he has to tell me. If so I'll have them make banners from one side to the other, and all for him. But he must tell me how much he really cares."

"Tuesday? We can go on Lapo's boat from St Tropez..."

What does not emerge from the programme is any evidence that the club was aware of ‘Ndrangheta infiltration of the ultras.

Selling tickets to ultras on credit is common practice in Italy, though it is against the rules.

The implication from the programme is that Bucci may have been killed by the mafia for speaking to prosecutors, though officially his death was ruled a suicide.

One of the ultras spoke to Report, insisting "I don't think he [Bucci] commited suicide".

"Ciccio was stupid," the former Drughi member says. "He didn't need the money, and he knew very well what he was dealing with. Money is nice for anyone, even I arranged some things, but arranging something is one thing. It's another to have close contacts like he did, which creates a bond.

"That's where he went too far."