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Sicily seizes one and half billion euros of mafia-linked property

Sicily seizes one and half billion euros of mafia-linked property
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By Daniel Bellamy
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The houses were seized from the heirs of a businessman alleged to have had links to the mafia

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Authorities in Sicily have seized property worth one and a half billion euros from the heirs of a businessman who allegedly had links to the mafia.

It's one of the biggest ever seizures of assets in Italy.

Carmelo Patti, who died in 2016, was born into a poor family in the province of Trapani and started out selling clothes in the street.

He became the boss of the tourism and travel agency Valtur and by the end of his life owned houses across Italy Morocco, Ivory Coast and Tunisia as well as golf courses and tourist resorts.

State prosecuters allege that Patti made a pact with infamous mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro who has been on the run since 1998.

He's been given a life sentence in absentia for murder but the only known photo of him dates back to the early 1990s.

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