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Rome's Café de Paris seized after failure to pay rent

Linked to Calabrian mafia organisation in past

18 February, 19:31
Rome's Café de Paris seized after failure to pay rent (ANSA) - Rome, February 18 - The legendary Café de Paris, known for its connections with the Italian capital's Dolce Vita era, was seized Tuesday for non-payment of rent. The seizure occurred shortly after a fire broke out in the historic cafe, the cause of which has yet to be determined.

A former employee laid off in December said that the seizure came "after a long string of economic difficulties".

The café had also been seized by police five years ago as part of an investigation into several properties found to be connected with the 'Ndrangheta criminal organization, which has in recent years become a highly sophisticated global network.

As well as being the richest, 'Ndrangheta is also regarded as the most impenetrable of Italy's mafias, with its close-knit family-based organisation outdoing the Sicilian mafia in its ability to defeat police efforts to turn members into State witnesses.

The former employee said that following the 2009 seizure, the court had been unable to cover expenses and had ceded the management of the café. The new management, however, had not paid the courts for the initial transfer nor for the rent, he said.