20:51 GMT +315 December 2018
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    Italian Police Arrest 'Godfather' of Sicilian Mafia in Major Operation

    © AFP 2018 / Andreas SOLARO
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    Suliman Mulhem
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    Italy’s deputy prime minister described the operation as “one of the biggest blows inflicted on the mafia by the state”, and authorities said they will release further information in due course.

    Italian police have arrested 46 suspected mobsters in a largescale crackdown on the notorious Sicilian Mafia, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday.

    Police are yet to release a comprehensive list of those arrested in Palermo, but revealed that Settimo Mineo, the head of the crime syndicate, was apprehended in the raids.

    READ MORE: Sicilian Mobsters Dropped Weights on Drug-Addicts for Insurance Payouts – Police

    The 80-year-old jeweller was reportedly elected the Cosa Nostra’s new godfather at a high-level meeting in May.

    Following the operation, Deputy PM Di Maio hailed the arrests and vowed to stamp out organised crime.

    "The arrests represent one of the biggest blows inflicted on the mafia by the state. Mineo had been elected heir of Toto Riina [ex-capo di capi] after his death. There is no more room for this type of scum in Italy," Luigi Di Maio wrote in a social media post.

    Meanwhile, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini praised the Carabinieri’s [national gendarmerie] role and “extraordinary intervention” in the dawn raids.

    The Sicilian Mafia, commonly known as the Cosa Nostra, was formed in the 19th century and continues to be involved in various forms of organised crime, ranging from firearm trafficking, racketeering, extortion and armed robbery.

    READ MORE: Godfathers of Migration: Italian Mafia Cashes in on Refugees – Report

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    Tags:
    raids, organized crime, police, Sicilian Mafia, Settimo Mineo, Luigi Di Maio, Matteo Salvini, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
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