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CRIME

Actor from mafia film Piranhas stabbed in Naples

A teenage actor who appeared in the award-winning film "Piranhas", about child criminals in Naples, has been stabbed in the Italian organised crime stronghold.

Actor from mafia film Piranhas stabbed in Naples
Actor Artem Tkachuk (L) poses with a younger cast member on the red carpet at the screening for the film "Piranhas" (La Paranza dei Bambini) at the 69th Berlinale film festival in Berlin. Photo: AFP

Ukranian 18-year old Artem Tkachuk played one of the gun-wielding, drug-peddling teens in the film, based on a novel by renowned investigative journalist and mafia expert Roberto Saviano.

Tkachuk was attacked by a so-called “baby gang” in the early hours after a night out last week with a friend, local media reported on Monday.

The actor was stabbed twice while his friend was beaten. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

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Police believe the youngster may have been set upon because of his role in the film, which won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 69th Berlin film festival in February and is coming to European cinemas this summer.

Italy's right-wing League party is backing a bill which would lower the age of criminal responsibility in the country from 14 to 12, which the party says would tackle the phenomenon of young people joining gangs at an ever-lower age,

According to the National Observatory on Childhood and Adolescence, 6.5 percent of youngsters in Naples — home to the feared Camorra crime group – belong to gangs.

Anti-mafia author Saviano has lived under armed guard since publishing his international bestseller “Gomorrah” in 2006.

Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano. Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP

CRIME

 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.

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