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Russian mafia takes a blow in northern Italy

Police arrest 13 in counterfeiting racket

06 December, 13:59
Russian mafia takes a blow in northern Italy (ANSA) - Novara, December 6 - Police arrested 13 people in a crackdown on the Russian mafia in northern Italy on Thursday. The suspects, including 11 more who were cited, were said to be involved in organized crime, with charges including counterfeiting coins and possession of stolen property worth over one million euros. Police said the objects, which included gold and silver bullion, were stashed at the Gran Sasso hotel where several of the suspects were staying. The materials would have been used to make fake euro coins, intended for circulation in Italy, Germany and Switzerland, said police in the Piedmont city of Nocara, where the sweep was organized. "The phenomenon represents a wound that is not only in Italy but the whole of Europe," said Novara police chief Maurilio Liore. "We are facing a well-organized mafia, based in Russia and other countries in Eastern Europe, mainly Georgia but also Lithuania, Romania, Kosovo and Albania. It is dedicated to looting houses and villas and stockpiling stolen valuables and antiquities".