Italian mayor, five councilors arrested in anti-Mafia crackdown

July 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM

TURIN, Italy, July 12 (UPI) -- The mayor of Scalea, Italy, and five councilors were arrested Friday, in a major crackdown on Mafia contract-rigging, police said.

Mayor Pasquale Basile was among 38 people arrested. He is suspected of granting municipal contracts to firms operated by the 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate based in Calabria, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The arrests took place in the cities of Turin, Novara and Biella, the Italian news agency ANSA reported, noting a "huge" amount of assets was seized and adding the 'Ndrangheta has invested cocaine profits in the northern Italian economy for the past 20 years.

The BBC itemized the seized assets as yachts, exotic cars, bank accounts and insurance policies valued at 60 million euros ($78 million).

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