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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

'In India, Everything Has Two Lives. Even Scams.'

The Quattrocchis live in a fairly fashionable area in Milan. His businesses have gone south lately. From guns he's moved to real estate.

'In India, Everything Has Two Lives. Even Scams.'
'In India, Everything Has Two Lives. Even Scams.'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Cocooned in his penthouse in one of the more fashionable districts of Milan, Ottavio Quattrocchi is once again confronted with the Bofors scandal. Whether he likes it or not, the crescendo is rising anew and as his wife, Maria, notes sardonically: "In India everything has two or three lives. Even scandals."

I arrived at Quattrocchi's residence on Via Sardegna on a freezing winter morning last week to meet one of the few survivors of the scandal. The imposing, classy grey corner building gives the Italian businessman a clear gaze into Milan's haze, perched as he is on the topmost floor with large French windows. The concierge was away from his desk, leaving me to inspect the door bells and the names attached. It is then I came across the mysterious "QO" listing, and other three initials—only apartments—all owned by the man in question. It was an obvious attempt to create an aura of anonymity, given the extradition case in Malaysia and the persistent Bofors' ghost that has followed Quattrocchi for two decades.

I rang the door bell and a pleasant, English-speaking housekeeper let me in. As she called "Sir," Quattrocchi burst in, sporting a silk dressing gown, showing his 68 years on his face along with fluster. "No madam, I don't want to say anything. Please leave," he shouted angrily. "There is nothing more here," he said, slamming the door. I was left to contemplate fate and the Rajasthani chest on the landing. The Quattrocchi family—an Italian grand clan of four daughters, grandchildren, brothers-in-law—is spread over two large floors and other properties nearby. Maria insists that her husband is a "gentleman and very polite" but tired of the "harassment". If I were to visit not as a journalist, she would invite me for pasta, she promises. "We love ...

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