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CRIME

Italy’s ‘Godmother’ mafia boss arrested at Rome airport

A top female mafia boss in Naples, Maria Licciardi, was arrested Saturday while attempting to fly to Spain, Italian media reports said.

Italy's 'Godmother' mafia boss arrested at Rome airport
A car of Italian carabinieri patrols Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples where arrested mafia boss Maria Licciardi is from. AFP PHOTO / MARIO LAPORTA

The 70-year-old, known as “la piccoletta” or the little one because of her small stature, is the sister of the late Gennaro Licciardi, founder of the family Camorra clan based in the suburbs of Scampia and Secondigliano.

She had served eight years in prison previously, being released in December 2009, according to media reports, after which she is alleged to have taken over the clan’s operations.

Two different undated photographs show top female camorra (Neapolitan mafia) boss Maria Licciardi with dark hair (L) and right with blonde hair. Photo: picture-alliance / dpa/dpaweb | Ciro_Fusco

She was arrested at Rome’s Ciampino airport while dropping off her bags ahead of a flight to Spain, where her daughter lives, news agencies reported.

She is accused of mafia-type association, extortion, receiving ill-gotten funds and auction-rigging.

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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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