Italian police deal strong blow to Mafia network

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Italian police have arrested nineteen people forming a network of abettors to the mafia's most wanted criminal, Matteo Messina Denaro. This network worked as a primitive but effective communication system used by the fugitive boss to keep himself atop the chain of command.

In a large and coordinated operation across Italy the police have arrested nineteen people who delivered the pizzini, small paper messages carrying commands from the fugitive boss.

Among the captured criminals are the 83-year-old Antonino Marotta, a mafia veteran who served under Salvatore Giuliano, and several relatives of Messina Denaro, including his brother Salvatore.

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni was satisfied by the operation and stated his optimism about a possible capture of Matteo Messina Denaro himself.

In the meantime, Messina Denaro's control over his territory remains strong. A few months ago, the car and house of Pasquale Calamia, a member of the town council of Castelvetrano, were torched because he publicly stated that Messina Denaro's continued liberty around Castelvetrano was a shame for the town.