03:52 GMT09 May 2021
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    ROME (Sputnik) - Almost 100 people were arrested early Monday in the southern Italian region of Apulia as a result of a vast operation against organised crime, Italy's military police, the Carabinieri said.

    An operation codenamed "Vortice Maestrale" has been held in the city of Bari through the joint efforts of special police units and the Carabinieri, with coordination from the local Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate. They targeted the powerful Strisciuglio mafia clan that controls almost all criminal activity in the Bari area.

    Law enforcement troops sent 96 people to prison, and three more were put under house arrest. All of them have been charged with involvement in mafia activities, drug trafficking, extortion, causing grievous bodily harm, illegal possession and carrying of weapons, and other crimes. In total, 147 people are being probed under the case.

    A man identified as Vincenzo Licciardi, center with glasses, listed as one of the country's 30 most-wanted mafia fugitives, is escorted by police after his arrest, in Naples, southern Italy. (File)
    © AP Photo / Salvatore Laporta
    A man identified as Vincenzo Licciardi, center with glasses, listed as one of the country's 30 most-wanted mafia fugitives, is escorted by police after his arrest, in Naples, southern Italy. (File)

    Monday's arrests come as part of a long-running investigation that has set up and documented in detail the criminal hierarchy and methods of gangsters' control of the area from 2015 to the present. Notably, some criminals involved in this case received arrest warrants in prison, where they are already serving sentences for other crimes.

    Details of the operation will be unveiled at 11 a.m. local time (09:00 GMT) during a special press conference, where members of the administration of the National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Public Prosecution Office are expected to talk to reporters.

    Tags:
    Police, Mafia, Mafia, mafia, mafia, Italy
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