News World Italian police confiscate Mafia villas in Rome swoop

Italian police confiscate Mafia villas in Rome swoop

Italian police on Tuesday confiscated eight luxury villas illegally built in Rome by its most infamous and entrenched Mafia clan in dawn raids involving some 600 police.

City mayor Virginia Raggi, who watched the operation carried out against the Casamonica mobsters, said the properties would be demolished by the end of the year.

“Today is an historic day for the city of Rome and for Romans,” said Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement who has been criticised for not doing more to clean up the Italian capital.

“We are putting an end to years of illegality and are sending a strong statement to the Casamonica clan,” he said.

After years of operating in the shadows, the family leapt to public attention with a lavish funeral for one of its godfathers in 2015. A helicopter dropped rose petals on mourners while posters were strung on the railings of a city basilica which read: “You have conquered Rome, now conquer paradise.”

The Casamonica family has been associated with crime in the south-eastern quarters of Rome for several decades, but the high profile funeral sparked a fierce backlash with politicians demanding a comprehensive legal assault on the clan.

In July, 33 members of the group were arrested in raids on gaudy properties which were filled with gilded mirrors, marbled sculptures of animals and extravagant, regal furniture.

Raggi said some of the villas confiscated on Tuesday had been built in areas of archaeological interest. “Some houses had even incorporated whole features of the historic Felice Aqueduct,” she said, referring to a 16th century city waterway.

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who heads the far-right League party, has promised to join in when the bulldozers set to work on the villas. “The party is over,” he said on Monday as he visited the police operations room.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Charles Michel tells President Anastasiades he monitors regional developments closely

President of the European Council Charles Michel told Nicos Anastasiades the President of Cyprus that he is monitoring the situation in the region closely...

US Senators urge Pompeo to tell Turkey to cease provocations in East Med

US Senators and co-chairs of the Congressional Hellenic Israel Alliance Ted Deutch and Gus Bilirakis have urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make...

Trump ignores reporter who asked if he regrets ‘all the lying’

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ignored a question by a reporter during a White House briefing who asked if he regretted all the...

Paphos: Pedestrian hit by a car in critical condition

A pedestrian trying to cross the coastal Avenue Tombs of the Kings in Paphos on Thursday at 20:30 was dragged by a car driven...

Erdogan warns of ‘dire’ consequences if Oruc Reis is attacked

Turkey’s navy is escorting the Oruc Reis drilling rig in the Eastern Mediterranean as the country’s president on Thursday warned of the ‘dire’ consequences...

Taste

Octopus ‘Kathisto’ (or Octopus braised in Wine)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped fine 1 large octopus, about 2kg (cleaned and kept whole) 3/4 cup dry red wine 1/3 cup...

Homemade lemonade

Ingredients: 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup sugar Method: Thoroughly wash the lemons with soap and warm water. Roll each lemon with the palm of your hand, pressing...

‘Striftaria’ mini cheese pies

Ingredients 1 ½ cup milk 2 tbsps. flour 4 tsps. of butter 3 eggs, slightly beaten + 1 extra with 1 tbs. of milk for spreading 1 pack of...

Mini potato canapes baked on salt

Ingredients Serves: 12 1kg small Cypriot potatoes rock salt, as needed 250g salted butter 300ml full fat cremé frâiche 1 pot cod or salmon roe Method Prep:20min › Cook:35min › Ready in:55min Take...