Italian Mayor Under House Arrest for Allegedly Aiding Illegal Migrants

An Italian mayor has been placed under house arrest for allegedly aiding illegal migrants.

Domenico Lucano, mayor of Riace, was accused of “ruthlessly” exploiting arranged marriages to game Italy’s migration law, according to Reuter’s reporting on a prosecutor’s statement.

“[Lucano] arranged marriages with ‘particular ruthlessness’ between local citizens and immigrant women and had set up ‘simple yet efficient’ systems aimed at bypassing rules for migrants to be granted entrance to Italy,” reads a statement according to Reuters.

An alleged accomplice to Lucano’s actions was his partner, Tesfahun Lemlem, who is also under investigation and reportedly banned from living in the town.

The investigation also includes allegations that Lucano committed fraud by favoring waste management jobs to immigrants as well as mismanaging public funds intended for migration projects.

Since his 2002 mayoral debut, Lucano has released thousands of migrants into Italy; and a fraction of that traveled further into Europe with destinations including Sweden, the UK and Norway.

Additionally, Italy’s nationalist firebrand, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, praised the move on Twitter with a taunt to other “do-gooders” who are pro-migrant.

"What will all the do-gooders who want to fill Italy with immigrants say now?" Said Salivini.

The Tuesday arrest of Lucano is part of an 18-month investigation and is reportedly much broader in scope than the contents of the released arrest warrant.

(PHOTO: piervincenzocanale via Flickr)

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About Ben Warren

Ben Warren is an editor for