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Police seize 200-mn-euro tourism complex in mafia sting

Five cited for facilitating Ndrangheta business in Calabria

29 January, 11:57
Police seize 200-mn-euro tourism complex in mafia sting (ANSA) - Brancaleone, January 29 - Police seized a tourism and residential complex worth 200 million euros on the coast of the southern Italian region of Calabria, investigators said Wednesday.

Anti-mafia investigators believe the Aquino and Morabito clans of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia were involved in the construction of the vacation residence complex located on the toe of Italy's boot-shaped peninsula about an hour's drive east of Calabria's regional capital Reggio Calabria.

With its stranglehold of the European cocaine trade, the 'Ndrangheta is Italy's richest and most powerful mafia.

Five people, businessmen and public officials, have been cited to prosecutors, but they have not been detained. Possible charges include abuse of office, deception aggravated by facilitating 'Ndrangheta business activity and violations of town-planning rules and landscape restrictions. Brancaleone is called the "city of the sea turtles" for its role as an important breeding ground for loggerhead turtles, who deposit their eggs along its beaches.

The investigation was coordinated by the anti-mafia department of Reggio Calabria.