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Banker body theft: Two convicted

Cuccia founded Italian merchant bank Mediobanca
Cuccia founded Italian merchant bank Mediobanca  

ROME, Italy -- Two men who stole the body of Italy's most famous banker and tried to extort a multimillion dollar ransom have been convicted and given a suspended sentence.

Steelworker Giampaolo Pesce and lorry driver Franco Bruno Rapelli were sentenced on Wednesday by a court in Verbania, near Turin, to 18 and 20 months respectively for stealing the body of Enrico Cuccia. Their sentences were immediately suspended.

The body of Cuccia, who founded the powerful merchant bank Mediobanca, was discovered missing from the family tomb near Lake Maggiore on March 20.

A few days later, a letter was sent reportedly demanding a ransom of 6 million Swiss francs ($3.5 million) to be paid to a foreign bank account.

Pesce and Rapelli, two longtime friends, were arrested within a few days and Cuccia's body was found in a hayloft on a mountainside near Turin, in northwestern Italy.

Cuccia died last year at 92. As the head of Mediobanca, once Italy's only merchant bank, he played a role in virtually all of the country's major postwar business deals.

The theft of his body had shocked Italy's business community.


• Stolen coffin found in Turin
April 1, 2001
• Thieves demand ransom for body
March 23, 2001
• Italian banker's body snatched
March 18, 2001

• Mediobanca

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