Italian police have released a video showing the moment they arrested the alleged criminal boss of a group said to have bribed or extorted its way to lucrative public contracts in Rome.
Massimo Carminati was arrested on Tuesday as he drove his car down a small countryside road outside the capital.
Police believe he is the leader of an organisation known as “Mafia Capitale”.
Carminati and other alleged criminal bosses were filmed and recorded in a series of wire-taps and surveillance operations, as police sought evidence to cement their ties with city politicians.
Thirty-seven people have been arrested and dozens placed under investigation.
They include figures from the political left and right but Rome’s former mayor Gianni Alemanno is the highest-profile. He denies wrongdoing but has resigned from posts in his right-wing party.
A web of corrupt relationships brought fat contracts for social housing, gardening, road maintenance, rubbish collection, even refugee shelters.
Documents show how unscrupulous entrepreneurs cashed in on serious social problems.
“Do you realise how much you can make out of immigrants?” says one. “Drugs trafficking brings in less.”
‘‘They should be ashamed, ashamed. But I’ve felt insulted as an ordinary person for years, not just today. I’m mortified,” said Rome resident Teresa Lizzio.
‘‘You wonder if it still makes sense to go and vote. I think we must, anyway, at least to try and vote for the least bad,’‘ added another local man, Vittorio Macri.
The current mayor of Rome has ordered a review of city contracts.
Police believe the network springs from violent neo-fascist organisations active in the 1970s and 80s.
They have classified the case a mafia investigation but it’s not thought to be connected to southern Italian mafia clans such as the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Naples Camorra or the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta.