Indian and Pakistani admit pizza shop slaying

An Indian and a Pakistani have confessed to killing the elderly owners of a Brescia pizzeria in a mafia-style slaying that shocked Italy and threatens to inflame racial tensions in the northern city.

Indian and Pakistani admit pizza shop slaying
The two men confessed to killing the elderly owners of a Brescia pizzeria. Photo: Shutterstock

Prosecutors said Pakistani national Mohamed Adnan and Indian Sarbjit Singh had admitted to carrying out the August 11th attack in which Francesco Seramondi, 65 and his wife Giovanna Ferrari, 63, were shot repeatedly with sawn-off shotguns inside their takeaway.

The execution and the killers' getaway on a moped was captured on CCTV and police said Singh's fingerprints had been found at the scene.

Adnan is the owner of a failed similar pizza and snacks outlet he bought from Seramondi. Hours after the attack the 32-year-old appeared on television complaining that the neighbourhood had become “disgusting” and that the police had been sleeping.

According to prosecutors, Adnan has claimed he organized the murder with the help of his friend Singh, 33, in frustration and anger over being unable to compete with the slain couple's popular business.

But investigators are sceptical about whether the case is actually that straightforward in a city known for the involvement of organised crime in extortion rackets and the drugs trade.

“Now the difficult phase of the investigation begins, in which we will try to establish if the suspects simply adopted the methods of organised crime of if there is more to it,” Brescia prosecutor Pierluigi Maria Dell'Osso told a press conference.

The case threatens to affect already-delicate community relations in Brescia, where immigrants from South Asia and North Africa account for more than a sixth of the population, high by Italian standards.

An angry mob gathered to greet Adnan and Singh on their arrival at the city's police headquarters for questioning and the case was seized upon by Matteo Salvini, the populist leader of the anti-immigration Northern League who has emerged as the most prominent figure on the right of Italian politics.

“If it is true (that they carried out the murders) these two bastards should be locked up for life, preferably in their own countries,” Salvini said on Monday.

The son of the slain couple, Marco Seramondi, appealed for calm, writing on his Facebook page: “We want justice to be done, not a vendetta.”


 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.