By David Amoruso
Posted on December 24, 2010
Merry Christmas everybody! And may Santa bring you all the gifts you wished for.
It seems Santa is already hard at work. Yesterday, an Italian police officer dressed up as Santa arrested a member of the Sicilian Mafia. The arrest took place outside a shopping mall in Catania, Sicily and the whole sting operation was caught on videotape.
The arrested man is Salvatore Politini (37), who is an alleged member of the Santapaola Mafia Clan. He was collecting “pizzo”, or extortion payments from one of the shopkeepers. It is also called “protection money”, though the only people the money offers protection from is the mobsters. According to authorities, the Clan had been extorting the owner for the past ten years. Every month a Mafioso would stop by the shop and pick up 260 euro.
Police had the shop under surveillance for several days. One officer was dressed as Santa Claus so as not to draw any suspicion from the paranoid gangsters. While Politini went inside to collect the pizzo, cameras recorded his every move. As he got ready to get back in his car, Santa and his fellow policemen flocked to the surprised mobster and put him under arrest. Surely this was not the kind of present he expected to receive underneath the Christmas tree.
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