Italian police search for mob online

Sept. 21, 2012 at 7:07 PM
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ROME, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Italian mobsters are using Facebook and other social media to stay in touch and do business, and investigators are there online with them, police say.

The news weekly L'Espresso cited examples like a Cosa Nostra member who used Facebook to threaten the son of a store owner in the Sicilian capital, Palermo, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Investigators say drug deals have been arranged online.

A Calabrian mobster, Pasquale Manfredi of the 'Ndrangheta group, maintained a Facebook page under the name Scarface until investigators tracked him by the Internet card he used to post updates and arrested him.

Another man was arrested when his girlfriend posted pictures on Facebook from their vacation in Spain.

"Crime, like all human phenomena, evolves together with the society it is part of," Alessandro Giuliano, a senior police officer in Milan, told the magazine. "Twenty years ago criminals used landline telephones, then they started to use mobile phones and the police had to become specialized technically to tap them. Now they have moved to the Internet."

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