Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged his support for Milan’s international showcase event Expo 2015 despite the arrest of seven managers and former MPs in a corruption scandal.
Italy hopes the event will create thousands of jobs and boost its economy by generating billions of euros in revenue.
According to Reuters, the 600-page arrest warrant exposes widespread corruption and bid-rigging.
Prosecuters said the seven detained were part of a “criminal ring aimed at influencing procurement” by promising career advancement to public officials through political protection.
The arrests took place during a visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon which was meant to mark the start of Expo’s partnership with the United Nations.
Planning and construction for Expo 2015 has been going on for more than six years. It is expected to attract millions of visitors next year.
More than 140 countries, from Saudi Arabis to Vatican City, will have pavilions at the Expo.