CAMPOBELLO DI MAZARA, Italy, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Italian police said 11 arrests Friday crippled a powerful family in Campobello di Mazara, near fugitive Cosa Nostra chief Mateo Messina Denaro's power base.
Police said those arrested, including Campobello di Mazara Mayor Ciro Carava, were charged with Mafia conspiracy and false declaration of assets, ANSA reported.
Officials said a five-year police investigation found the Campobello family kept "close contact" with the fugitive Messina Denaro.
Messina Denaro, listed by Forbes magazine as one of the 10 most wanted criminals in the world, has been on the run since 1993. Police said they believe he is expanding his empire abroad after finding evidence he traveled to Austria, Greece, Spain and Tunisia.
Nicknamed "Diabolik" after an Italian comic strip criminal, Messina Denaro gained his reputation for brutality in the killing of a rival boss in the western Sicilian city of Trapani and strangling of the man's pregnant girlfriend.