15 bn euros of mafia wealth seized in Italy

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Around 15 billion euros (more than $18 billion) of assets have been impounded from the mafia since 2009, Italy’s police chief said.

“We have got better at going after organised crime’s money. We need to attack the mafia’s most precious possession — its financial assets,” said Antonio Manganelli.

“In three years, we have confiscated and expropriated 15 billion euros from organised crime and nine billion euros in 2011 alone,” he said.

Manganelli was speaking at a conference on international organised crime in the southern Italian city of Palermo.

Targeting the mafia’s massive wealth is a new and smarter tactic compared to the past, when Italian anti-mafia operations focused chiefly on capturing fugitives, he said.

“We need to cut off their earnings,” he stressed.

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