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CRIME

Austrian father and son jailed for supplying guns to Italian mafia

The pair denied knowingly dealing with the mafia, insisting they had thought they were working with "vegetable traders".

Austrian father and son jailed for supplying guns to Italian mafia
Guns seized by Italian antimafia police. Photo: Nunzio Mari/AFP

An Austrian court on Tuesday slapped jail terms on a father and son for supplying hundreds of illegal weapons to mafiosi from Italy's feared Camorra.

A court in Klagenfurt, Austria, gave the men, aged 74 and 48, jail terms of 24 and 20 months respectively after they were found guilty of supplying some 820 hand guns and dozens of Kalashnikov assault rifles to the group since 2011.

When the trial started, the pair had denied knowingly dealing with the mafia, insisting they had thought they were working with “vegetable traders”.

The pair can still appeal the verdict.

A Naples prosecutor announced in March that Italy and Austria had busted an international arms trafficking ring that supplied the Camorra with guns, including “weapons of war”, to start a war with other clans.

The year-long Italian investigation led to the arrests of 22 people, including the Austrian gunsmiths and several Camorra couriers.

The Camorra is one of Italy's three main organised crime groups, along with Sicily's Cosa Nostra, commonly known as the mafia, and the 'Ndrangheta, centred in the Calabria region.

READ ALSO: 'New generation' of young Italian mafia heirs arrested

 

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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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