Italy arrests new Mafia "godfather" in major raid in Sicily

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-05 04:21:31|Editor: yan
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ROME, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Italian police arrested 46 suspected high-ranking members of the Sicilian Mafia in a dawn raid on Tuesday, including 80-year-old Settimo Mineo, considered the heir to mafia "godfather" Salvatore Riina, who died in prison in November 2017.

Mineo, a jeweler, is thought to have been named as the new head of Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia during a May 29 summit of Mafia clans, prosecutors told reporters at a televised press conference.

"The clan leaders wanted to identify a discipline that would be shared by all (the clans) in connection with the new Mafia, which projects itsef towards the entire globe and towards the business world, and which co-manages its affairs along with the other (Italian organized crime groups such as) the 'Ndrangheta and the Camorra," National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho told TV reporters.

In a tweet, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini praised today's "extraordinary action" in the Sicilian city of Palermo, where police "dismantled the new Cosa Nosta leadership...guilty of extortion, arson, and assaults."

The suspects face charges including racketeering, aggravated extortion, illegal weapons, and arson, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Mineo first received a five-year prison sentence on Mafia charges in the so-called Maxi Trial in late 1980s, which featured almost 500 defendants and close to 400 convictions on organized crime charges, according to La Repubblica.

The Maxi Trial was made possible by the groundbreaking work of a group of courageous magistrates, three of whom -- Rocco Chinnici, Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone -- were assassinated by the Mafia.

Mineo was arrested again on Mafia-related charges in 2006 and spent another 11 years behind bars, RAI New 24 public broadcaster reported.