Thirteen arrested over Tuscan crematorium scam
This is just so sick.
The funeral director and twelve other employees in Tuscany, Italy have been arrested for operating a crematorium scam, where they stored bodies with the corpses of cats and dogs, and burned them in mass ovens - about ten or twenty at a time.
The arrests follow an investigation that began last year when police learned that crosses and handles from coffins used at the crematorium at Massa Carrara were being sold for re-use. They then discovered that the bodies were being piled up for mass burning.
Those arrested include the funeral director, employees of the local council, and a retired officer in the Carabinieri, Italy's paramilitary police force. They are accused of fraud, fake cremations, "forming a criminal organisation" and "violating the piety of the dead". Each faces up to seven years in prison.
"Tearful mourners who thought they were being handed the ashes of their beloved relatives were in fact receiving ashes which could have come from anyone," said La Stampa . The Massa council had not carried out cremations itself but had given the contract to a local funeral firm.
The ashes of about five hundred bodies were found in an underground storeroom.
"To cremate a body costs money," a police spokesman said. "Obviously you make more money if you burn them en masse rather than individually."
According to a professor of modern history at Turin University, as told to The Times, this scandal could birng back the arguments in the Catholic faith about cremating a body versus burial.