Sicily: Mafia members who use children for drug trafficking arrested | News | DW
Italian police on Monday arrested 20 mafia members in the Sicilian city of Catania, the gang members allegedly used children for drug trafficking operations.
What do we know so far?
The arrests were carried out by members of the police force of the carabinieri.
Criminals have allegedly forced children as young as 10 years old to take money from drug buyers, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.
Several prominent members of Sicily’s Cosa Nostra were among those arrested in the operation. Several women linked to the mafia were also arrested by the authorities.
CCTV showed large amounts of drugs such as crack and marijuana moving through the district of San Cocimo in Cantania, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported. Videos showed children taking money from drug buyers and showing where the illicit substances were hidden in the ground.
The San Cocimo district is a major base of operations for Maurizio Zuccaro, a Cosa Nostra leader.
What else did the officers find out?
The riflemen confiscated account books which recorded the quantity of drugs circulating in the region. The law enforcement operation also highlighted two counts of extortion involving a local pharmacy and a car dealership.
Catania is the birthplace of Benedetto Santapaola, a prominent Mafioso imprisoned since 1993.
In May, Italian police arrested 40 people linked to Cosa Nostra in Catania for suspected drug trafficking and extortion.
Cosa Nostra has been involved in criminal operations in Sicily since the 19th century.