Major anti-mafia operation targets 37 people in Italy, Germany

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-04 21:50:38|Editor: Liangyu
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ROME, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- At least 37 people were targeted by arrest warrants in a major operation launched by the Italian authorities against Sicilian mafia on Wednesday.

Some 600 officers from Italy's military police Carabinieri and finance police carried out raids in Sicily and other four regions in the center and north of the country, as well as in Germany, police said in a statement. Overall, some 14 Italian cities were involved in the raids.

The operation targeted the Rinzivillo family, which is a clan operating in the Sicilian Caltanissetta province, and long-time ally of the more powerful Santapaola and Madonia clans.

The clan was also connected with members of the Calabria-based Ndrangheta mob, investigators said.

All of the suspects were charged with mafia association and other mafia-related crimes. Assets worth about 11 million euros (some 13 million U.S. dollars) were seized, including at least three companies.

The probe was coordinated by prosecutors of the Anti-Mafia District Directorates (DDAs) in Rome and Caltanissetta in cooperation with Germany's criminal police and prosecutors in Cologne and Karlsruhe.

At least two people were put under house arrests in the German northwest city of Cologne.

A lawyer in Rome and two Carabinieri officers were among those arrested on Wednesday, police also said.

The officers were charged with providing sensitive information to the clan from within the police department. The lawyer was charged with complicity with a mafia association for allegedly helping the clan connect with other professionals.

Among its illegal business, the targeted clan was allegedly involved in the food and vegetable market in the Lazio region surrounding Rome, and in extortion activities in the capital, according to investigators.

The German "cell" of the clan would have been focused on trafficking drug, and setting up companies in the construction and food sectors. Enditem