Naples

Mafia suspect admits he joked about Balotelli dealing drugs

Soccer star questioned about visit to troubled area of Naples

Mafia suspect admits he joked about Balotelli dealing drugs

Naples, May 30 - A mafia suspect admitted Thursday he was making "a joke" when he said Italian soccer star Mario Balotelli was dealing drugs in the troubled Scampia neighbourhood of Naples. Armando De Rosa admitted he made up the story, during questioning by prosecutors who are investigating money laundering by a mafia ring. In September 2011, Balotelli was called in for questioning after a visit he made in 2010 to the Naples neighbourhood that is notorious for drug trafficking and the activity of the local Camorra mafia. According to prosecutors at the time, the striker had been accompanied by two "senior Camorra figures". Balotelli has always insisted he didn't know who the men were when they took him around Scampia, an area he was interested in because of its resemblance to the poor Palermo quarter where he grew up.

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