07:41 GMT26 October 2020
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    ROME (Sputnik) - Domenico Lucano, the mayor of the Italian town of Riace, was placed under house arrest on suspicion of supporting illegal migration, Italy's Guardia di Finanza said on Tuesday.

    The finance police said Domenico Lucano had been allegedly organizing the so-called "marriages of convenience" between local men and foreign women so that the latter could stay in Italy, the finance agency said.

    The investigation against the mayor was launched last year after the prefecture of Reggio Calabria city had sent a commission to Riace, which allegedly detected the misuse of public funds dedicated to the allocation of migrants.

    Lucano has been accused of aiding illegal migration and fraudulently awarding contracts for waste disposal.

    READ MORE: Rome Not to Sign Migration Deal if Berlin Remains 'Deaf to Requests' — Salvini

    Europe has been experiencing a migration crisis since 2015, with migrants and refugees fleeing wars and crises in their home countries in North Africa and the Middle East. As such, the new government of Italy has declared the struggle against illegal migration one of its priority tasks.

    In early August, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that in just two months since his cabinet began working, the number of migrants landing on Italy's shores had fallen by 80-85 percent.


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    illegal migration, mayor, arrest, migrants, Giuseppe Conte, Italy
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