Italian police seize 100 mln euros in mafia asset
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Last Updated: Monday, December 12, 2011, 19:39
  
Rome: Italian police on Monday seized 100 million euros (USD 134 million) in mafia assets including bank accounts, land and a discotheque as part of a vast operation against the Naples crime syndicate, the Camorra.

Police seized numerous small businesses -- many in the construction industry -- as well as land, cars, the Beach Cafe disco near Rimini, and up to 10 bank accounts per suspect in a raid sweeping from Naples to the north of Italy.

The operation followed the arrest last week of 57 people associated with the powerful Casalesi clan in the north of Naples, on various charges including Camorra membership, as well as extortion, election fraud and money laundering.

The Casalesi clan is one of the bloodiest and most powerful of the Camorra and was at the centre of the book "Gomorrah" by investigative journalist Roberto Saviano, which was made into an award-winning film.

The clan's boss, Michele Zagaria, was arrested on December 7 after 16 years on the run after police found him hiding in a secret bunker under a house.

The clan has major interests in the cement and construction business.

Zagaria was "a businessman," according to Italian magistrate Raffaele Cantone.

"He and his family controlled jobs, contracts, workforces and resources all over Italy," he said.

Saviano, who was born in Naples and has had to live under police escort since revealing secrets of the Camorra business, said Zagaria "was not 'a boss', he was 'the boss'."

"It was he who handled economic crime, and not just in my region," he said.

PTI


First Published: Monday, December 12, 2011, 19:39


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