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Italy: 40 arrests in anti-mafia sting against Naples Camorra

Italy: 40 arrests in anti-mafia sting against Naples Camorra
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By Alasdair Sandford with Reuters, Gazzetta del Sud
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A nationwide operation organised from Naples has targeted alleged members of the Casalesi clan in the Camorra - including two sons of jailed crime boss Francesco Schiavone.

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Around 40 people have been arrested by Italian police in a major operation against the Camorra or Naples mafia.

All those held are said to be alleged members of the Casalesi clan, based in the small town of Casal di Principe north of the city.

Police said the raids involved 200 officers in more than a dozen areas around the country.

The operation was ordered by prosecutors in Naples.

“To work constantly on the ground means controlling the dynamics of the criminal groups operating on that territory, then grasping any changes and activities while they are in place. In this way, we can intervene early and prevent that more serious events occur,” said Naples prosecutor Giovanni Colangelo.

Charges against those arrested include mafia association, extortion, illegal possession of weapons and receiving stolen goods.

Arrest warrants were also issued for two sons of jailed Camorra boss Francesco Schiavone. They are already in prison, from where they have been suspected of leading the Casalesi clan’s business.

The Casalesi clan inspired Roberto Saviano’s best-selling book “Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia”, which also led to a prize-winning film.

Death threats against the author by Casalesi bosses forced him into round-the-clock police protection.

The clan’s power was severely reduced when, after a 10-year trial known as ‘Spartacus’, 36 Casalesi members were convicted in 2008, with 16 receiving life sentences.

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