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Italian police seize 3 bn in mafia assets last year

Over 900 mn in center-north, up 80% on 2012

29 January, 17:24
Italian police seize 3 bn in mafia assets last year (ANSA) - Rome, January 29 - The Italian finance police seized three billion euros in assets from criminal organizations in 2013, a 73% increase over the previous year. Some 900 million in assets were seized in the central and northern regions of the country, an 80% increase on the year. The finance police underscored that the wealthiest areas of the country were the ones in which the mafia clans invested the lion's share of their takings from illegal activities in large-scale infrastructure works, construction, hazardous-waste disposal, wholesale and retail sales, restaurants and hotels, gambling houses and the gold trade. As concerns money laundering, 1,347 individuals had reports filed against them, 166 people were arrested and 49 million euros in assets were seized. The setting up of trust funds, anonymous companies, false invoices, and other techniques were used to reinvest 3.4 billion euros during the year, a 29% rise. Some 455 loan sharks were reported, 77 of whom were arrested, and 168.8 million euros in assets were seized.

The finance police also seized 115 tonnes of smuggled cigarettes and 55 of illegal drugs and arrested 2,164 drug traffickers in 2013.

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