An ice cream manufacturer whose owner has ties to the Montreal Mafia was firebombed early Sunday morning in the city's St. Léonard borough, though there was little damage.
It's the sixth time in the last month that a business linked to Domenico Arcuri has been the target of arsonists.
Police said several Molotov cocktails were used to try to set fire to the rear of Ital Gelati at about half past midnight. A security guard was on the premises at 8390 Creusot Street and wasn't injured. The store suffered only minor damage.
Police have no suspects so far.
Just over two weeks ago, a van in the parking lot outside the building was set ablaze. The fire spread to two other cars and the garage next door, but not the ice-cream business.
Arcuri-linked interests have been hit at least four other times since the middle of August:
- Earlier this week, three cars were torched in the parking lot of Signa Plus Inc., a Laval, Que.-based company that supplies traffic control signs.
- A three-storey strip mall in the east-end Rivière-des-Prairies neighbourhood was attacked twice by arsonists, on Aug. 22 and again the following week, though neither incident caused much damage.
- An office building in the borough of Anjou housing two city contractors — a paving business and a construction company — was heavily damaged by fire on Aug. 17. One of the businesses was part-owned by Arcuri at the time, while both companies list his associates Domenico Cammalleri and Domenico Miceli as shareholders.
Arcuri has ties to the Rizzuto mob family. His name appears about 20 times in summaries of wiretaps from the joint police anti-Mafia operation Project Colisée, and he was spotted with Mafia bigwigs in December 2005 at the former Consenza Social Club in St. Léonard, an east-end Montreal café where Vito Rizzuto and other mob bosses would meet.
The latest edition of the book Mafia Inc. by journalists André Noël and André Cédilot says Arcuri was at the heart of the reorganization of the Montreal mob.
But Cédilot told CBC News that Arcuri recently broke ranks and backed Salvatore Montagna, another gangster who allegedly sought to take control in Montreal but who ended up dead last November. Arcuri could now be facing reprisals from Rizzuto loyalists.
"It's clear that Domenico Arcuri is non-persona-grata in the milieu," Cédilot said. "He didn't choose the good clan, then now some of the Sicilians loyal to Vito Rizzuto, they prepare his return to Montreal."
Under that theory, the emerging civil strife in Montreal's underworld is a sign that the Mafia is cleaning up, or getting cleaned up, before Rizzuto's anticipated return to Canada this fall from the Colorado prison where he's been serving out a 10-year sentence.
Arcuri could not be reached for comment on Sunday.