Skip to main content

Italy police arrest more than 100 people in Mafia crackdown

From Livia Borghese, for CNN
updated 11:00 PM EDT, Fri July 26, 2013
Police officers in central Rome lead away one of dozens arrested for organised crime in Ostia on July 26, 2013.
Police officers in central Rome lead away one of dozens arrested for organised crime in Ostia on July 26, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police launch two large-scale anti-Mafia operations in Italy
  • Police make 51 arrests in Ostia, near the capital, Rome
  • An additional 65 people are detained in a separate operation in Calabria
  • Police say their operations have struck at the leadership of Mafia groups

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 region.

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 statement said.

They are being held in a Spanish jail awaiting extradition proceedings, police said.

Politicians, 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 said.

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 and drugs.

"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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT