Italian Mafia Bosses Nabbed In Dawn Raids

The Sun Herald

Saturday September 12, 1992

ITALIAN authorities yesterday arrested the reputed boss of Naples'underworld, who had eluded capture for a decade, and a convicted Sicilian mafia figure sought for two years.

The arrests brought to four the number of gangland fugitives picked up in Italy over the past week.

It is the first significant victory in the war on the mob declared by the government following the murder of two anti-mafia crusaders.

Paramilitary police burst into a Naples villa before dawn and found Carmine Alfieri, 40, hiding in an underground concrete chamber.

"You have kept me on the run, congratulations," police quoted him as saying as he surrendered without incident along with two bodyguards.

Police said he is considered the top boss of the Camorra, a multi-million dollar racket in southern Italy which deals in arms, drug trafficking and extortion,

Alfieri has also been implicated in a gangland attack on a rival Camorra clan that killed eight people in 1984.

"A fugitive is always a failure for the State," said Colonel Carlo Alfiero

"The capture of Carmine Alfieri has allowed us to take away a symbol for other criminals," he said.

In Rome hours later, a pyjama-clad Francesco Cannizzaro, 55, was arrested at his rented apartment in the town centre.

Described as a power in the mafia in Catania, Sicily, he disappeared two years ago after being convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail for drug trafficking and criminal association.

Two other fugitives were arrested this week - Raffaele Stolder, another suspected Camorra boss, and Giuseppe Madonia, considered the second highest ranking member of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily and a suspect in the murders of Italy's leading anti-mafia investigators, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

In addition to the arrests in Italy, German police yesterday said they had picked up an Italian mafia fugitive and were investigating attempts by the mob to build an organisation in Germany.

The deaths of Falcone in May and Borsellino in July set off a national outcry that helped the government push through a package of tough anti-crime laws.

The government also sent 7,000 troops to Sicily to provide security and allow an overburdened police force to carry out investigations.

In recent days, judges acting under anti-mafia legislation, have been seizing millions of dollars in assets from businesses linked to organised crime.

The government even seized 33 racehorses owned by a Camorra boss.

"In the past two months we have seized assets worth nearly 100 billion lire($125 million)," Palermo police chief Matteo Cinque told an Italian news agency.

Meanwhile, three key Italian mafia figures, the Cuntrera brothers-Pasquale, Paolo and Gaspare-have been arrested in Venezuela police said.

The three brothers, considered 'bosses' in the Sicilian Mafia known as the Cosa Nostra, were on the run for more than 10 years.

Police said they specialised in laundering money.

Italian investigators working with Interpol located the Cuntrera brothers in Venezuela, where they were arrested and turned over by Venezuelan authorities to Italian police officials, police said.

"You can be sure we will keep this up," the police chief assured the media

© 1992 The Sun Herald

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