Italian authorities take charge of Deutsche Bahn unit

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A logo of German railway Deutsche Bahn is pictured outside the railway station of the Cologne-Bonn Airport during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cologne, July 28, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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MILAN, May 17 (Reuters) - An Italian court will appoint a special administrator to take charge of transport group Schenker Italiana SpA after the Deutsche Bahn unit became caught up in an anti-Mafia investigation into one of its subcontractors, sources said on Tuesday.

The order, issued by a court in Milan, will be in place initially for nine months for a business that employs more than 1,400 people in Italy.

The Italian financial police and carabinieri force issued a joint statement saying that the special measures would apply to two unnamed companies. Two sources with knowledge of the matter said that Schenker Italiana was one of them.

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"We have heard of allegations in connection with a subcontractor of Schenker Italiana. We fully support the authorities," said a Deutsche Bahn Schenker spokesperson in Germany.

Schenker Italiana did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The sources said neither the current management of Schenker Italiana nor the company itself were under investigation.

An investigation that began in April 2020 into a haulage business suspected of being run by the Calabrian Mafia, known as the 'Ndrangheta, found business ties to the two companies, the police said.

(The story corrects second paragraph to say court order is for nine months, not one year.)

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Reporting by Emilio Parodi in Milan Additional reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska in Berlin Writing by Keith Weir; editing by David Evans

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