Testimony of murdered mobster's wife leads to 17 arrests
Lea Garofalo killed after turning State witness29 October, 12:57
Investigators believe the murders took place as a result of a war between mafia clans based in Crotone, a city located at the bottom of Italy's boot-shaped peninsula.
Additional charges include illegal possession of arms and drug dealing.
Arrests and property seizures took place in the northern and central Italian regions of Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia, Romagna, and Abruzzo. The arrests are continuing fruits of testimony from Lea Garofalo, who disappeared on November 24, 2009, more than a decade after becoming an informant to Calabrian law enforcement regarding internal feuds between her family and that of Carlo Cosco, her ex-companion.
Cosco and three others are currently serving life-sentences for kidnapping and murdering Garofalo. Anti-mafia police in the Calabrian city of Cantanzaro said information Garofalo provided was decisive for current round-up, as was the testimony of other law informers.
A funeral for Garofalo organized by Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia was finally held in recent days.
Garofalo's scorched remains in the summer of 2012 were found in a Monza warehouse, north of Milan, based on statements by Carmine Venturino, who confessed to participating in the murder and turned State informant. Garofalo's daughter Denise Cosco connected via telephone to the ceremony to give an emotional final salute to her mother.
Denise Cosco lives under a witness protection programme in a secret location.
Garofalo was first placed under a witness protection programme in 2002, but had renounced the security measures prior to her death.
photo: Lea Garofalo.