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CRIME

Four arrested over gang rapes in Italian seaside town

Italian police arrested a man on Sunday suspected of involvement in two rapes last week.

Four arrested over gang rapes in Italian seaside town
Forensic police working at the scene of the attack. Photo: Italian police

The man, a 20-year-old, was the last of the gang of four to be arrested and the only adult among the suspects.

“The last of the suspected Rimini rapists has been located and arrested,” said police in a statement on Monday morning. “The man was captured by police officers on a train to Milan from Pesaro.”

ANALYSIS: 'Violence against women conditions every aspect of our lives'

Rimini police chief Maurizio Improta said the arrest was “doubly satisfying” because the two officers who handcuffed the suspect were female. Improta called this “a symbolic gesture which gave justice to the victims of the violence”.

The below video was shared by police and shows officers escorting the suspect to a police car.

Pesaro is located 40km southeast of Rimini, a popular seaside resort on the Adriatic Coast where the attack took place.

The men allegedly raped a Polish tourist and badly beat up her husband on a Rimini beach, and later raped a transgender woman in a park.

Italy's interior minister Marco Minniti congratulated police for apprehending the suspects so quickly.

Two other members of the gang, who are brothers aged 15 and 17, handed themselves into police in connection with the rapes on Saturday. Their father told the local paper Il Resto del Carlino he had recognized his sons in CCTV images shared by police, and told them to report themselves.

Shortly afterwards, a third suspect aged 16 was detained in a nearby town.

The three minors were previously known to police, but due to their age they are being held in a juvenile detention centre and their names have not been released.

The 20-year-old arrested on Sunday has been identified as a Congolese national who arrived in Italy as an asylum seeker in 2015. Following the rejection of his request for asylum, he was granted permission to stay in Italy until 2018 on humanitarian grounds, according to Italian media reports.

READ ALSO: How can Italy tackle gendered violence?

CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

READ ALSO

Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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