25/11/2020 04:50:00

12 Sicily drugs markets busted, 80 arrests, 101 probed

 Anti-mafia police on Monday busted 12 drugs markets in the Sicilian city of Catania, arrested 80 people and placed 101 people under investigation.

Carabinieri said they had "dismantled 12 major drugs markets rooted in the working-class San Giovanni district." The quarter is the historic stronghold for drug trafficking and pushing in the eastern Sicilian city.

The 101 people have been placed under investigation, police said, on suspicion of mafia association, drug trafficking, drug pushing, and illegal weapons possession.

The various gangs were territorially autonomous, police said, but under the control of the Nizza group belonging to Catania's dominant Cosa Nostra clan, the Santapaola-Ercolanofamily, run from jail by superboss Benedetto 'Nitto' Santapaola.
The Nizzas ordered the gangs to get their drugs from the group and how much drugs to buy, police said.
The gangs reported to a noted mafia boss, Lorenzo Michele Schillaci , police said.
Schillaci settled any disputes between the gangs.
Over 400 Carabinieri from the Catania provincial command were involved in the operation.
They were backed up by police from other Sicilian provinces including helicopter and dog units.
Among the 80 arrested were two minors, police said.
The operation was made possible by information from two new mafia infrmants, Dario Caruana and Silvio Corra, the latter acting boss of the NIzzas, police said.
Defence Undersecretary Angelo Tofalo congratulated the Carabinieri on the success of the operation, dubbed Skanderbeg.
"Another hard blow has been dealt to the criminal and mafia organizations," he said.
Tofalo praised the Carabinieri's dedication, commitment and professionalism "even in a delicate moment due to the health emergency."



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