Italian police arrest 37, seize $13 million in Mafia blitz

Police lights
(WISH Photo/Brett Bensley)

ROME (AP) — Italy police say they have seized 11 million euros ($13 million) in assets and arrested 37 people, including two Carabinieri officers, accused in a Sicilian Mafia extortion racket involving fruits, fish and drugs.

Police said one victim was the owner of a swank Via Veneto restaurant in Rome who was forced to come up with 180,000 euros ($212,000) after receiving threats from mobsters over fruit and vegetable deliveries.

Two Carabinieri officers are accused of illegally using information from a police database to extort the owner.

The investigation focused on the Renzivillo family of Gela, Sicily, and its drug-dealing envoys in Germany. It showed how Cosa Nostra had infiltrated Rome businesses, using legitimate fresh and frozen fish front companies, and made alliances with other organized crime groups, including the ‘ndrangheta and Camorra.