Camorra sweep nabs 55 mobsters, nearly half bn in assets

Suspects span north and south, wanted for major gambling racket

Camorra sweep nabs 55 mobsters, nearly half bn in assets

Naples, June 27 - Police arrested over 50 suspected mobsters and seized nearly half a billion euros in assets across Italy Thursday in their biggest crackdown in years on the infamous Casalesi gang. Agents detained 55 alleged members of the Naples-based Camorra mafia spanning the length of the country, from Modena and Reggio Emilia in the north, Viareggio and Frosinone in the center, to Caserta, Naples and Catania in the south. The suspects are wanted for conspiracy, collusion, illegal gambling and betting, extorsion, threats of violence, computer fraud, money laundering and fraud. Police seized 450 million euros in assets that included 247 bank accounts, 347 properties, 148 businesses and 280 automobiles, two of which were Ferraris. Investigators said the gang's most lucrative ventures were the illegal distribution of slot machines, collecting sports bets, and online gambling. They were especially successful due to collaborating with rival mob groups the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta and the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, police said. The Casalesi gang came to world notoriety with the 2006 bestseller Gamorrah by Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, whose accounts of their crimes prompted death threats and a permanent government escort. The book was later turned into a critically acclaimed film.

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