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CRIME

Teen kills disabled uncle to ‘teach him a lesson’

An Italian teenager who along with two friends allegedly murdered his disabled uncle wanted to "teach him a lesson", by hitting him over the head with a metal baseball bat.

Teen kills disabled uncle to 'teach him a lesson'
Fausto Bottura's body was found in the river Po. River Po photo: Shutterstock

Massimo Bottura, 19, was arrested on Tuesday over the murder of his 48-year-old uncle Fausto Bottura.

The Italian teenager has since claimed that he attacked his uncle “to teach him a lesson” and had no intention of killing the man, Ansa reported.

Fausto Bottura died on the night of December 3rd after being hit over the head with a metal baseball bat in Mantua, northern Italy, before his body was dumped in the river Po.

His nephew was arrested along with two friends, 19-year-old Armando Esposito and Alessio Magnani, 18, after the body was discovered four days later.

Massimo Bottura reportedly told his lawyer that the three were hanging out in a garage when his uncle returned home and parked in a different garage close by.

Seeing the men Fausto Bottura was said to have shouted at them to go home, at which point they decided to attack him. The trio allegedly hit him and left him on the ground before going back to the garage to smoke a joint.

The victim’s nephew has not revealed who swung the baseball bat. He said they assumed his uncle, who was disabled, would get back up but returned later and found him lying dead on the ground.

The three are being held for premeditated murder and concealing the man’s body, Ansa reported.

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MAFIA

Italian police seize €250 million and arrest 56 in latest mafia blitz

In its latest mafia sting, Italian police took down a large 'Ndrangheta ring in southern Calabria, placing 56 people under investigation including a regional councillor and a former head of the regional tourism board.

Italian police seize €250 million and arrest 56 in latest mafia blitz

The early-morning blitz by over 300 police focused on areas of Calabria – Italy’s poorest region – under the control of the Mancuso clan, a powerful branch of the infamous ‘Ndrangheta, many of whose top operatives are among hundreds of defendants in an ongoing ‘maxi-trial’.

Fifty-six people, many already in prison, were put under criminal investigation for a series of crimes including mafia-related conspiracy, extortion, kidnapping, bribery and possession of weapons, police and prosecutors said.

READ ALSO: ‘Ndrangheta: It’s time to bust some myths about the Calabrian mafia

Besides alleged mafia members, the operation also snared businessmen, a regional councillor released from prison days earlier, a former head of the regional tourism board and two civil servants, police said.

The incarcerated boss of the clan, Luigi Mancuso, also known as “The Supreme”, is the biggest mafioso in the massive mafia trial that started in January 2021.

Still, police said, his clan and affiliates, including the La Rosa and Accortini families, have continued to dominate illegal activities in the Vibo Valentia province, which is located right on the toe of Italy’s boot and is widely known as the ‘Coast of the Gods’ due to its stunning coastal views.

One mafia scheme involved the infiltration of a foreign tour operator in Pizzo Calabro, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.

No one talks

In Calabria, the extent of the ‘Ndrangheta’s reach in the local economy has made it near impossible to eradicate it.

By controlling the bulk of cocaine flowing into Europe, the ‘Ndrangheta has surpassed Sicily’s Cosa Nostra in power and wealth. It has extended far beyond its rural roots and now operates internationally, with illegal gains reinvested in the legitimate economy.

In the area around Vibo Valentia, extortion of local businesses and the fixing of public tenders is also common.

The allegations against those arrested Thursday include the transport and sale of stolen farm machinery to Malta and Romania, police said.

The sting carried out on Thursday extended to other parts of Calabria, Palermo in Sicily and as far as Rome and Milan, police said.

READ ALSO: Meet Nicola Gratteri, the prosecutor leading Italy’s battle against the mafia

In a press conference, anti-mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, whose efforts to defeat the ‘Ndrangheta have forced him to live under police escort for over 30 years, called the group a “fierce mafia syndicate” controlling areas around the tourist resort of Tropea.

Francesco Messina, who leads Italy’s organised crime investigative unit (DAC), cited the economic power of the clan, which relies locally on “substantial” extortion activity.

The “total absence” of complaints to authorities was striking, Messina said, underscoring the ‘Ndrangheta’s power to intimidate.

By Alexandria Sage

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