Italian Police Arrest More Than 100 People In Mafia Crackdown
by Corey Hjalseth, KHQ Local News Contributor - email
Rome (CNN) -- More than 100 people suspected of
Mafia involvement were arrested Friday in Italy as police launched two
separate operations near Rome and in the country's southern Calabria
Police made 51 arrests in
Ostia, a coastal community on the outskirts of the capital, for alleged
crimes connected to the Sicilian Mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, police
said in a statement.
An additional 65 people
were detained in a separate operation in Calabria, where those arrested
are suspected of links to the powerful 'Ndrangheta Mafia.
The operation in Ostia is
one of the largest ever carried out against organized crime in the Rome
area, a police news release said.
More than 500 police officers, as well as maritime and dog units, were involved, police said.
The alleged crimes under
investigation in Ostia range from extortion to murder, to international
drug trafficking to illegally controlling the slot machine market and
business activities related to the beach, police said.
Police say their operation has delivered a "mortal blow" to the leadership of the Mafia organization in the capital.
Entire Mafia clans have been hit by the arrests, they say. Among those detained are alleged Mafia boss Carmine Fasciani.
Members of another Mafia
clan, Vincenzo Triassi and his wife, have been arrested on the Spanish
island of Tenerife thanks to coordination with Interpol, another police
They are being held in a Spanish jail awaiting extradition proceedings, police said.
businessman, lawyers, doctors and even members of the prison police were
arrested in the second operation, which targeted Mafia leadership
around Lamezia Terme, a city in Calabria, another police news release
Those arrested are accused of crimes including murder, criminal association and extortion, it said.
Every year, the release
said, the criminal gang made millions of euros through a system of
insurance fraud, with the funds used to finance the acquisition of arms
"We are particularly
satisfied with the investigation," Rodolfo Ruperti, police chief of the
city of Catanzaro, whose force carried out the Lamezia Terme operation,
told CNN by telephone.
He said the inquiry
shone a spotlight on the "gray area" of relations among politicians,
businessmen and Mafia groups suspected of carrying out dozens of murders
in past years.
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