Police search homes in probe of Italian mafia killings

24th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

24 August 2007, BERLIN (AP) - Police in western Germany searched dozens of homes Friday in their investigation of the killings last week of six men believed to have been members of an Italian crime syndicate.

24 August 2007

BERLIN (AP) - Police in western Germany searched dozens of homes Friday in their investigation of the killings last week of six men believed to have been members of an Italian crime syndicate.

"Several buildings were searched in different cities," said a statement from police in the western city of Duisburg, where the slayings took place. "The evaluation of the objects we found there is continuing and persons (that were at the searched homes) are being questioned."

Duisburg police said they were following up more than 380 tips from the public.

Also on Friday, family members were to gather in nearby Muelheim for the funeral of 18-year-old Tommaso-Francesco Venturi, who died together with the five other men in a hail of gunfire after a pizzeria celebration of one victim's 18th birthday – a Mafia-style attack that officials said grew out of a long-running feud between two organized crime clans in southern Italy.

The bodies of the five other victims were buried Thursday in southern Calabria in Italy amid high security as police feared more violence between the feuding Pelle-Romeo and Nirta-Strangio crime clans.

The slayings in Duisburg marked the first time the 'ndrangheta syndicate exported a vendetta, Italian authorities said. The organization, based in Calabria, is heavily involved in drug trafficking and extortion, and earlier this year officials described it as even more dangerous than the Sicilian Mafia.

Prosecutors have described the feud as a reflection of ruthless determination by 'ndrangheta clans to expand control of the European cocaine market as well as of long-simmering bad blood between the families.

The syndicate is alleged to run extortion and loan-sharking rackets, and arms and drug trafficking.

AP

Subject: German news

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