Libya Tribune

The Bolognese swindler who became a terrorist in Libya

By Gian Franco Coppola

After 6 years of manhunt, the entrepreneur returned to Italy accused of having set up a scam tour with luxury yachts and cars and fled to Tunisia before ending up arming the jihadist rebels in Libya.

The 54-year-old Bolognese entrepreneur Giulio Lolli , who has been detained in Tripoli since 2017 and for a precautionary custody order signed by the investigating judge of Rome for international terrorism and arms trafficking, made his return to Italy through the Ciampino air border. . 

The repatriation of Lolli, taken to the Regina Coeli prison , was organized by the 007 of the Aise who took care of the relations with the Libyan authorities in the various phases, while the Carabinieri del Ros performed the precautionary measure.

The investigations have ascertained how Lolli was among the commanders of the Islamist cartel called Majlis Shura Thuwar Benghazi . 

Within the same organization the entrepreneur would have operated until October 2017 as “Commander of the revolutionary forces of the navy”.

What is Majlis Shura Thuwar Benghazi

Jihadist formation controlled by the terrorist organization Ansar Al Sharia (affiliated to Al Qaeda, until its final dissolution in November 2017), very active in 2017 in the city of Benghazi with operational base in Misurata, was used by Lolli, a fugitive in Italy for the failure of a company linked to a luxury yacht tour, to guarantee arms supplies to the Benghazi militias; supplies that, by sea (as transport by land is not safe), had to come from Misurata.

The investigations on the original entrepreneur of Bertinoro originate from two checks carried out in international waters, between May and June 2017, off the coast of Libya by “Operation Sophia” ships during which war weapons were found, including rocket launchers and anti-tank mines.

The prosecutor of the anti-terrorist group, thus delegated to the Ros the investigations which showed that the stopped boat was (until its transfer to Libya moored at the Rimini marina) originally a yacht registered in Italy under the name of ” Mephisto “then renamed” El Mukhtar “.

Lolli had carried out a similar operation previously with another boat, also from Italy, the ” Leon “, renamed “Buka El Areibi“.

Those who investigate are convinced that Lolli, together with other people (three are under investigation) has made available his own maritime experience, and at least two naval vessels brought from Italy, in the formation and organization of the ‘Majlis Shura Thuwar Benghazi’ troops. 

On another investigative front, the Carabinieri of the Rimini Provincial Command carried out two other measures against fraud and extortion against Lolli.

Among the merchants and businessmen of weight or a certain experience scammed by Lolli, also like Flavio Carboni (sentenced in first degree in March 2018 to six and a half years of imprisonment for the P3 affair). 

Involved in the survey called ‘Rimini Yacht‘, Lolli had fled at the end of May 2010, when, following some cross-checks concerning the registration of numerous yachts, it had emerged that thanks to a company from San Marino, where one of his heads operated wood with a series of nominees as nominees>

Each yacht (boats with commercial value that ranged from 300 thousand to 6.5 million euros), was financed two or even three times, through leasing contracts entered into with companies linked to Italian and foreign banking institutes, mostly from San Marino, to which false documents of compliance were previously submitted, previously extorted by violence from one of his former employees who had a printing press.

As many as 86 vessels under investigation: all with two owners, some with three, some totally non-existent and created ad hoc only on paper, to obtain funding. 

The bona fide users of the boats sold by Rimini Yacht , during the investigations, were therefore seen seizing the very expensive boats, waiting for the judge to decide who, between the two or three financiers, was the real owner.

To Flavio Carboni the same Lolli had used a very luxurious Aston Martin purchased with a leasing contract stipulated in San Marino and then unpaid. 

The car was later found by the staff of the Carabinieri, after Lolli’s escape, in a state of neglect, at the airport of Cagliari. 

Just with the boat that Flavio Carboni intended to buy, a Bertram 570, Lolli had fled first to Tunisia, then to Tripoli.

In the meantime, the personnel of the Rimini and the Harbor Master’s Office recovered around Italy and abroad, yachts (Bertram, Aicon, Azimut, Galeon), cars (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati), watches (Cartier , Patek Philippe), various jewels, old paintings and money, for an estimated value of around three hundred million euros .

An escape from film

An escape, that of Lolli, worthy of an action movie. In Tunis, where he enjoyed the favors of the family of later deposed President Ben Ali , he had opened his own import-export business. 

Identified by the movement of a large sum of money from Italy to Tunisia, the investigators from Rimini discovered that a friend of Lolli periodically went to a shopping center in Forlimpopoli , where he took the news fugitive and pizzini to his elderly mother, then left towards North Africa, not before having procured everything Lolli needed.

Following the request for capture and extradition sent by the Public Prosecutor of Rimini to the Tunisian Authorities, request arrived just at the dawn of the Arab spring, Lolli, who could no longer count on the protection of the Ben Ali family, was expelled by sea . 

With the Bertram 570 set course for Malta , where it was supplied with fuel and food, therefore, shortly before being intercepted by Maltese motorboats – always activated by Rimini, through Interpol – it set sail for Tripoli . 

Here you find accommodation in the luxurious Hotel Rixos, the same one that hosted journalists in the days of the revolution, remained there until his first arrest, in January 2011, when Interpol and the forces of the then Libyan leader Colonnel Gheddafi, managed to arrest Lolli.

But while he was held together with political prisoners, he was freed from the rebels to whom he joined and with whom, perhaps, he fought with a new name and a new religion. 

He called himself Giulio Karim Lolli, married a Libyan woman and only six years later, in 2017, he was arrested by the special forces of Al Rada , the Libyan anti-terrorist team with very serious accusations.

After two years of detention, the sentence of 8 September 2019: life imprisonment. And finally, extradition to Italy.

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