Italian police seize $563 assets of leading mafia clan

Rome, March 22 (IANS) Italian police seized assets with estimated worth of 500 million euros ($563 million) from a leading clan of “the Ndrangheta mob in the southern Calabria region” on Monday, local media reported.

The operation was ordered by prosecutors of the local Anti-Mafia District Directorate (DDA), and targeted at the Iannazzo crime family which is considered a powerful clan based in the region’s third largest city of Lamezia Terme, Xinhua quoted Ansa news agency as saying.

The seized assets included 53 plots of real estate and farmland, 24 commercial buildings, 27 vehicles and shares of at least 21 companies, the organised crime investigation group of Italy’s finance police said in a statement.

Many of the assets were directly linked to local businessman Franco Perri who is allegedly a close associate of the Iannazzo clan.

The entrepreneur was thought to have developed “a solid and lucrative relationship with the Iannazzo family’s current boss, up to the point of being considered as acting in collusion with the clan,” the anti-mafia prosecutors told a press conference on Monday.

Overall some 65 people and 44 companies were involved in the investigation that resulted in the raids, local media reported.

Magistrates ordered no arrests, but decided to make a broad “preventive” seizure of the suspects’ assets, which is a special procedure allowed by Italian anti-mafia legislation to target at the economic power of organised crime syndicates.

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