Italian police arrest 65 people in anti-Mafia crackdown

July 26, 2013 at 7:03 AM
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ROME, July 26 (UPI) -- Police in Italy arrested 65 people Friday as part of an anti-Mafia investigation in the coastal region near Rome, officials said.

The crackdown was aimed at the Fasciani, Triassi and D'Agati clans in the coastal suburb of Ostia, Corriere della Sera reported.

"Above all, the important thing is that we know we have reconstructed and, in part, dismantled a full-blown Mafia system," Catanzaro police chief Guido Marino said.

The people arrested included doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and Sen. Piero Aiello, a member of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, the BBC reported.

Aiello is allegedly linked to the Giampa clan, which is associated with the 'Ndrangheta Mafia, the largest crime organization in Italy, ANSA reported.

Authorities are investigating Aiello for alleged insurance fraud. A judge rejected a request by police to arrest the politician during Friday's sweep, ANSA said.

As part of the arrests, police seized $266 million in assets from five businessmen.

In another Mafia-related report, the health of Bernardo Provenzano, imprisoned suspected former leader of a crime family, has taken a turn for the worse, doctors said Thursday.

Provenzano, in a prison hospital since June, was "alert only when stimulated ... has limited speech and altered states of consciousness," a doctor said.

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