Over 600 police officers in the Italian capital were part of the operation which saw the seizure of eight illegally built mansions belonging to members of the Roma Casamonica mafia group.
Rome’s Five Star Movement Mayor Virginia Raggi celebrated the action, which took place on Tuesday morning, on Facebook saying,”Today, the city of Rome celebrates a historic day. We have sent a clear signal to criminality and the Casamonica clan,” Kronen Zeitung reports.
“These buildings have become a symbol of the powerlessness of honest citizens towards crime. We did not look away and erased all of this,” Raggi, who was present during the operation on the outskirts of the Italian capital, added.
The buildings, all belonging to the notorious Casamonica mafia group, were erected within proximity of an ancient Roman aqueduct nearly 30 years ago.
The Casamonoca clan, which is made up mostly of members of the Roma minority, have been linked to drug trafficking offences, bribery of officials, and other crimes. The group is also known to have ties with the N’dràngheta mafia clan which operates in Calabria and the infamous Camorra of Naples.
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The operation comes after the passing of the Italian security and migration decree spearheaded by populist interior minister Matteo Salvini that has measures to target organised crime across the country including more funding for an increase in staff of the National Agency for the Administration and Destination of Assets Seized and Confiscated from Organised Crime (ANBSC).
In July, Salvini began to seriously target mafia groups, declaring war on them following the death of several migrant agricultural workers in the south of the country.
“It’s a Mafia problem. In Foggia … there is Mafia criminality that I intend to eradicate street by street, town by town, by all means legally available,” he said.
Salvini has also promised measures against Roma squatter camps in Italy and measures to allow the removal of squatters are also included in the decree with Salvini promising to close all 148 camps across the country within the next five years.