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Italian police seized €11 million and arrest 37 people as part of Mafia extortion racket probe

Italian Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terror prosecutor Franco Roberti, left, shares a word with Rome chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone during a police press conference on an organized crime operation, in Rome PiICTURE: Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP

Italian police have seized €11 million (£9.7m) in assets and arrested 37 people, including two Carabinieri officers, as part of a probe into a Sicilian Mafia extortion racket.

Police said one victim was the owner of the Via Veneto restaurant in Rome who was forced to come up with €180,000 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 Roman businesses, using legitimate fresh and frozen fish front companies, and made alliances with other organised crime groups, including the 'ndrangheta and Camorra.

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