Police Seize Resorts Believed to be Mafia-Owned in Italy

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: March 6, 2013 Last Updated: March 8, 2013
Related articles: World » Europe
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Police seize resorts: Italian police seized a number of coastal resorts and arrested nearly two dozen people to crack down on organized crime. 

A screenshot of Google Maps shows the southern Italian region of Calabria. (Screenshot by The Epoch Times)

A screenshot of Google Maps shows the southern Italian region of Calabria. (Screenshot by The Epoch Times)

Italian police have seized around 17 seaside resorts and arrested 20 people in southern Italy as part of a crackdown on the mafia.

Italian prosecutor Nicola Gratteri said two ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate clans laundered money through the resorts, according to The Associated Press.

Among those arrested include a Spaniard and a Northern Irishman, reported the BBC, citing local Italian media reports. The raids were made early on Tuesday morning on suspicion of money laundering and mafia activity.

Some of the resorts are located in the southern Italian region of Calabria, which has pristine and undeveloped coastline.

In the operation, raids were carried out in 60 locations in Calabria, Campania, Sicily, and the Lazio region around Rome, according to Italian news agency Adnkronos. There were also raids in the United Kingdom and Spain.

The mafia had developed relationships between businesses and “important Spanish entrepreneurs,” the news agency said.

The Irish Sun reported that an Irishman involved in the crime syndicate was an “IRA dissident,” referring to the Irish Republican Army, but it was not clear if he is the Northern Irishman referenced in other media reports. The arrested militant was sent by the IRA help launder money with the aid of the Italian mafia.

The IRA is believed to have contacted the Neapolitan Camorra and the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta around five to six years ago, according to the paper.

Following an investigation, police discovered “an extensive and complex network of Italian and foreign companies,” Adnkronos reported. This allowed the crime clans to own and develop “dozens” of real estate projects and tourist resorts.

The resorts and vacation homes that were seized were valued by officials at around $600 million, according to AP.

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