Mozzarella king arrested for alleged criminal association

Investigators link cheese group to Casalesi clan

Mozzarella king arrested for alleged criminal association

(ANSA) - Naples, July 17 - Police in Naples arrested the owner of one of Italy's leading mozzarella companies on Tuesday for alleged criminal association and counterfeit production of the Campania region's trademark cheese. Giuseppe Mandara, third-generation mozzarella producer and company head of Mandara Group, was allegedly in partnership with the notorious Casalesi clan of the Camorra Mafia whose criminal empire was described in Roberto Saviano's 2006 book Gomorrah, later turned into an award-winning 2008 film of the same name. Police also seized assets worth 100 million euros and arrested a number of the company's employees. Mandara is a major global exporter of buffalo mozzarella and its products are sold throughout Europe, Japan and the US. Investigators also allege that the company falsely produced batches of mozzarella with cheaper cows' milk instead of the buffalo milk that is required by law to keep its protected origin status (DOP).

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