Police arrested the suspected new head of the Sicilian mafia and 45 different alleged gangsters on Tuesday, dealing a big blow to the mob because it attempted to rebuild after years of setbacks.
Settimo Mineo, an 80-year-old jeweler with a prior mafia conviction, used to be elected to take the helm of the crime team Cosa Nostra, or “Our Factor,” at a secret assembly of mob households from in and across the Sicilian capital Palermo in Might.
It used to be the primary such accumulating of the Palermo clans since their earlier chief, Salvatore “Toto” Riina, used to be arrested in 1993 and convicted of ordering dozens of murders.
Riina died in jail ultimate yr whilst serving 26 lifestyles sentences. Italian media have lengthy speculated over who may have changed him, however prosecutors stated on Tuesday Palermo mobsters waited till after his loss of life to anoint a successor.
“There was a go back to the previous, archaic regulations of ‘Cosa Nostra’,” leader prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi informed newshounds. “Throughout the process the (Might) assembly … they mentioned the wish to re-establish regulations which have been misplaced in the street.”
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As soon as omnipotent on Sicily, the arena’s most renowned crime gang has been squeezed over the last 20 years, with many bosses put in the back of bars, companies sequestered and locals an increasing number of able to defy it. Italian media confirmed footage of the white-haired, bespectacled Mineo being led away through police, his handcuffed arms hidden underneath a coat.
“There’s no more space for this kind of scum in Italy,” Deputy Italian High Minister Luigi Di Maio wrote on Instagram after the wave of pre-dawn arrests.
ON THE RUN
The Palermo area has historically been essentially the most team throughout the Cosa Nostra cupola, or hierarchy, and police have been searching for years for indicators that it used to be seeking to regroup and re-exert its authority.
“With an atypical operation within the Palermo province, the police have dismantled Cosa Nostra’s new ‘cupola’,” Inside Minister Matteo Salvini stated on Twitter.
Mineo used to be sentenced to 5 years in prison for mafia-related crimes on the so-called “maxi-trial” that ran from 1986-1992 and used to be spearheaded through prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
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Each Falcone and Borsellino had been murdered in 1992 on Riina’s orders after verdicts had been delivered. Following their deaths, the state poured assets into the battle in opposition to the mob and flooring down Cosa Nostra.
“If the (Palermo) team meets, it meets to come to a decision critical issues … So we discovered ourselves going through risk and because of this the police intervened hastily,” Lo Voi stated.
One outstanding mafioso the police were not able to seize is Matteo Messina Denaro, nicknamed “Diabolik,” who has been at the run since 1993 and is derived from the province of Trapani, which lies to the west of Palermo.
Some media have stated he used to be Riina’s herbal inheritor, however Sicilian prosecutors have denied he’s the boss of bosses, announcing he by no means held sway over the Palermo clans.
“He’s one in all Cosa Nostra’s maximum prestigious leaders, however he’s from Castelvetrano, within the province of Trapani, and he does no longer command the Palermo team,” Salvatore De Luca, Palermo’s deputy prosecutor, stated on Tuesday.
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