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Youngest of 100 most wanted fugitives arrested in Italian anti-mafia operation

Italy's police on Tuesday arrested a fugitive mafia boss in the southern city of Naples, one day after another inmate was freed as a transport van was attacked near Milan in the North.

Mario Riccio, also known as Mariano, 21, was the youngest among the 100 most wanted fugitives in Italy, according to local media. He was arrested in a villa on the outskirts of Naples while he was with his wife and daughter. The boss did not resist to police.

Mariano, who was sentenced to 16 years in jail for mafia association and drug trafficking, had been on the run since 2011. He was the alleged head of an influential clan as well as the relative of another important boss of Camorra, the Naples-based mafia which has spread towards other Italian cities in recent years.

Also on Tuesday, in a major anti-mafia operation police in Rome arrested 29 people allegedly linked to a clan of Camorra engaged in illegal activities from drug trafficking to extortion, and confiscated assets worth around 400 million euros (541 million U.S. dollars).

The assets included properties throughout Italy as well as companies operating in a variety of sectors from construction and car sales to food and financial investment, local reports said.

Meanwhile, police were continuing to hunt another important fugitive, 32-year-old Domenico Cutri, across the country after he was freed in an armed attack on Monday.

Cutri was being transported to a court near Milan, in northern Italy, when four gunmen hijacked a passer-by and opened fire against police before escaping. One of the attackers, Cutri's brother, was killed during the fire exchange, while two policemen were injured.

Cutri, a prisoner serving a life sentence for murder, was a suspected boss of Calabria-based "Ndrangheta", regarded as the richest and most impenetrable mafia in Italy.

[Source: Xinhua, Rome, 04Feb14]

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