Spanish police detain member of Italian mafia

13th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Another top member of the Italian Camorra has been arrested near Barcelona.

MADRID – Police in Spain said Thursday they had detained a member of the Italian Camorra, the latest in a string of arrests in the country of top members of the Naples-area mafia.

The man, identified only as 50-year-old Pietro M., was arrested on Wednesday in Pineda near Barcelona which has a significant Italian population, local police said in a statement.

He had been sentenced in Italy to a jail term of over 20 years for two murders committed in 1994, drugs trafficking and membership in a criminal group, the statement said.

Born in Nocera near Naples, he was the target of an international arrest warrant.

Since 2006 about a dozen leaders of the Camorra and other Italian mafia groups have been arrested in Spain, the main entryway into Europe for cocaine from Latin America and hashish from north Africa.

In January Spanish police arrested two Camorra bosses, Antonio Caiazzo, 50, and Francesco Simeoli, 40, as they left a restaurant at an upscale Madrid neighbourhood.

The arrests have highlighted the growing menace posed by the Italian mafia in Spain.

Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, the author of "Gomorra," the best-selling expose on the criminal underworld in Naples, has said several mafia clans have transferred what he termed "their most risky activities," such as drug-running, to Spain, particularly to Barcelona.

Speaking in Barcelona last week, he said that Camorra bosses refer to the Spain's Mediterranean coast as "Costa Nostra" or "our coast", alluding to the Sicilian mafia "Cosa Nostra".

[AFP / Expatica]

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