Reggio Calabria (Italy): A former mayor was among seven Calabrian mafia suspects arrested in southern Italy Wednesday in an operation involving police from Reggio Calabria and Rome.
The suspects have links to Ndrangheta`s Alvaro clan (Calabrian mafia), according to anti-mafia investigators.
The suspects include Rocco Palermo, an ex-mayor of San Procopio town, two businessmen and a shop owner. All of them face charges of mafia association and fraud.
The Alvaro clan has a complete monopoly over public works contracts thanks to a network of "friendly" local government administrators and businessmen and its leadership`s infiltration of various economic sectors, investigators said.
Palermo is alleged to be a top aide of `Ndrangheta member Cosimo Alvaro, son of the Alvaro clan boss Cosimo Alvaro.