Police seize 19 mn from Spada clan

Operation ordered by Rome magistrates

(ANSA) - Rome, October 11 - Tax police on Thursday seized assets worth a total of 19 million euros from leading members of the Ostia-based Spada crime family.
    Rome magistrates ordered the seizure.
    Earlier this month police cleared two homes in the crime-ridden Roman coastal resort occupied by the Spada clan.
    On October 4 they cleared a council flat that had been occupied for around 10 years by a member of the clan.
    Roads in the area were sealed off to traffic for an operation involving around 100 officers.
    The home was occupied by Vincenzo 'Gnocco' Spada, the son of clan boss 'Pele,' who died in prison in 2006.
    He is thought to be the ringleader of a racket involved in the illegal management of social housing in Ostia.
    The operation came after a homemade bomb exploded two day previously night at the Ostia home of the parents of a woman who aided investigators in a Spada case, which resulted in the arrest of 32 people.
    Then, on October 9, police cleared another council flat that had been occupied by a member of the Spada clan in Ostia.
    The operation was announced by Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi in a tweet, in which she declared, "we won't give respite to those who live in illegality".
    On her Facebook page, Raggi said the home was occupied by the partner and children of Silvano Spada, who is currently incarcerated.
    "After years of inaction, from the start of our mandate we are checking illegally occupied council flats, to free them up and give them to those who have a right to them and have been on waiting lists for years," Raggi said. The Spadas have been investigated on charges including drug trafficking, loan-sharking, gambling, social housing scams, and for clashing with a rival clan over control of the Ostia area on the Roman coast.
    One of their members, Roberto Spada, hit headlines last November by attacking a journalistic crew.
    In June he got a six-year jail term for the brutal attack on two members of a crew working for State broadcaster RAI in the aftermath of elections in Ostia.
    The court recognized that the use of mafia methods was an aggravating factor in the assault.