31 mafia arrests in Italy today

Police arrest 31 people in Mafia sting

By Region News The Islands

Italian police forces arrest 31 people on Tuesday morning in an operation targeting the Cosa Nostra. They stand accused of felonies from mafia association to extortion.

Carabinieri and State Police arrested 31 people early on Tuesday in a big operation targeting Cosa Nostra. They took 29 suspects to jail while two are now under house arrest.

Accusations range from mafia association to drugs felonies, the illegal possession of weapons and extortion. The operation took place in Palermo and there were also arrests outside Sicily, in Reggio Calabria, Alessandria and Genoa.

The investigation that led to the arrests revealed the structure of the Ciaculli and Brancaccio crime families within Cosa Nostra.

Retailers many of the mafia victims

The probe uncovered 50 cases of extortion of retailers, with the victims ranging from illegal street hawkers to the owners of big stores. In one case, a seller of Palermo’s traditional ‘sfincione’ focaccia bread had to contact one of the suspects after finding the locks on their premises glued up.   

Investigators believe part of the money raised by their criminal activities went to the families of jailed mobsters.

Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando said the operation showed the authorities must keep up their guard because “Cosa Nostra no longer rules the city, but it has not been defeated”.

There have been a number of arrests in recent months.

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