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Italian police continue crackdown on Camorra in Naples

By David Amoruso

Police in Naples are dealing blow after blow to the region’s Camorra clans. Last week they arrested boss Domenico Ferrara (photo above) and several of his lieutenants, while today, Carabinieri arrested 21 people and seized 35 kilograms of cocaine and 2 kilos of hashish. Police said the cocaine would have netted €2 million euros if it had been sold.

The arrest, last Thursday night, of Domenico Ferrara involved 150 police officers. Around 22:00h, Ferrara, high-ranking lieutenants Vittorio Amato and Rocco Ruocco, together with four others clan members sat down to watch a football match on the television.

Patiently waiting until all guests had arrived, police surrounded the clan's compound in Villaricca, on the outskirts of Naples, and pounced, placing all men under arrest. They have been charged with extortion.

Nicknamed “Mimi 'or muccuso,” Domenico Ferrara’s clan controlled the area in and around Villaricca. He became somewhat famous in Italy after investigators seized more than hundred cell phones which, they claimed, were used to rig the call-in voting on a television talent show in which his daughter was a contestant.

The new extortion charges are much more serious, however, showcasing how the Camorra terrorizes and sucks dry honest businessmen. “If you do not want to sell the store you have to give [Ferrara] €230,000 euros,” one of Ferrara’s soldiers was heard saying when he threatened one such businessman, a lawyer.

As news of the arrest hit the news, Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano called the arrest of Ferrara a “hard hit” to the Camorra. “It's always good news to know that little by little we're driving out the many local bosses, in order to weaken organized crime more and more,” he said. “It's not only a victory for the State but also a relief for honest citizens.”

Alfano had recently deployed 250 soldiers to Naples to help stop the violence between Camorra clans. While the troops patrol the streets, police are doing an excellent job busting up the various criminal operations run by the Camorra.

Last week, Italian police raided a cocaine refining laboratory in a town south of Naples, arresting five people including two members of the Camorra and three Colombian nationals. They found 7 kilos of cocaine paste and 20 liters of a coke-based liquid that would have been worth 3 million euros on the street once processed.

And today, they seized even more drugs in an operation in Marano, near Naples, where they found 35 kilograms of cocaine at the home of one of the suspects and 2 kilograms of hashish in the home of another suspect.

It’s the police’s way of saying “Basta!” to the Camorra.

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