Italy seizes 4 billion euros in property from Mafia
Italy announced Wednesday it seized more than four billion euros (five billion dollars) worth of property from suspected mafia clans last year and arrested more than 2,000 suspects.
The legislation-empowered seizure of buildings, hotels, restaurants and other businesses as well as luxury cars and yachts is considered to be an effective tool in the fight against organised crime in Italy.
The Italian interior ministry said a total of 2,041 suspected mafia members, including 18 who are considered particularly dangerous, were held for questioning in 2011.
In one year, it said, the state carried out 12,139 seizures of suspected mafia property worth 4.124 billion euros (5.06 billion dollars), including 723 companies and an unspecified number of luxury cars and yachts.
Some 5,103 property seizures worth 1.6 billion euros (1.96 billion dollars) occurred in Sicily, followed by 3,225 confiscations worth 1.4 billion euros (1.71 billion dollars) in Campania, a region of Naples, and 2,260 seizures worth 1.4 billion euros in Calabria.
The Italian police is endowed with battle-hardened units specialized in accounting analysis and gathering financial information.