Italian couple arrested for sending weapons to Isis

Italian police on Tuesday arrested a married couple on suspicion of sending weapons to a faction of terrorist group Isis.

Italian couple arrested for sending weapons to Isis
Police officers escort the couple into a police car. Photo: Carlo Hermann/AFP

Police believe the pair sent weapons including assault rifles, surface-to-air missiles and even helicopters to Iran and Libya between 2011 and 2015, despite an embargo. The couple in their 60's have been named as Annamaria Fontana and Mario Di Leva – known as Jafaar since their conversion to Islam, according to local paper Napoli Today.

Their son and the CEO of the Italian Helicopters Society were also reportedly arrested in connection with the weapons trafficking.

Fontana was well-known locally as a politician, having served two terms as a socialist councillor in San Giorgio a Cremano, Campania, in the 80's and 90's. 

In recent years she had moved away from politics and begun to visit the Middle East regularly with her husband, Il Corriere del Mezzogiorno reported, building up close ties with the Libyan government and meeting Iran's former premier.

The arrests were made following a nationwide operation coordinated by Italy's anti-mafia police department in Naple. Police had launched the investigation in 2011, following leads from an investigation into the Camorra mafia clan.



 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.