Rome, December 14 - Rome city council on Friday opened a new centre for victims of racketeering and loan-sharking in an apartment once belonging to a member of a notorious criminal organisation based in the capital. The premises, located in the Vermicino district in southeast Rome, were confiscated from the former 'treasurer' of the Banda della Magliana, Enrico Nicoletti, in 1996 and entered into the property of the city council in 2007. Services provided by the new centre include a help desk contactable via the toll-free number 800669656 and an answerphone service that is operational 24 hours a day. The centre is "an important result because it is the fruit of the fight against local criminal activities," said Rome police commissioner Fulvio Della Rocca. Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno added that the project was a "first strong example" of "the successful direct conversion of an asset that has been sequestered from the mafia".