Suspected mafiosi arrested in Italy police raids
Police in southern Italy arrested dozens of suspected mafia bosses in two raids Tuesday - including several alleged members of a crime family operating in a Calabrian town which has recently witnessed violent clashes between residents and African immigrants, DPA reported.
Officials said those arrested in Rosarno belong to the Bellocco family of the Calabrian mafia, the 'Ndrangheta.
None of those arrested are apparently linked to last week's violence in which nearly 70 people were injured - among them migrants, residents, and police officers.
Authorities also seized assets worth several million euros (dollars) including stores and supermarkets allegedly run by the Bellocco family through a network of front men.
Last week over 300 illegal immigrants were moved out of Rosarno, following several days of rioting sparked by the wounding of several African labourers in a drive-by shooting carried out by unidentified gunmen.
Officials have suggested that the shooting may have been linked to the 'Ndrangheta-controlled recruitment of illegal immigrants for work on local farms and that it may have served as punishment for migrants who had refused to pay the mobsters protection money.
Also on Tuesday in a separate operation in Sicily, police arrested 32 suspected members of the Cintorino crime family and also seized dozens of vehicles, buildings and other properties allegedly belonging to the clan.
Many of those arrested face charges of extortion and drug trafficking.