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Culture

'Gomorrah' actor arrested again for mafia activities

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Latest update : 2009-01-07

Giovanni Venosa, who played a clan boss of the Camorra, the Naples mafia, in the hit film Gomorrah, has been arrested a second time, near Naples, for mafia activities. He is the third actor from the film to have been arrested for mafia activity.

AFP - An actor who played a clan boss in the widely-acclaimed Italian mafia film "Gomorrah" has once again been arrested for mafia activities off the set, media reported Monday.

In a case where life appears to imitate art, Giovanni Venosa was arrested for trying to extract a "pizzo" -- mafia tax -- from businesses in the Caserte region to the north of Naples, Italian newspapers said.

Based on the best-selling book by Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, "Gomorrah" won the top prize at the Cannes film festival and is in the running for the Oscar awards.

Already sentenced two months ago to a period of community service in the north of Italy for drug-trafficking, Venosa took advantage of a Christmas break to return to Naples, where he was accused of the extortion.

He is the third amateur actor from "Gomorrah" to be arrested for mafia activity. Salvatore Fabbricino and Bernardino Terracciano, who also played gang members, have been accused of having links with the Naples Camorra.

Saviano, 29, has been living under 24-hour police protection after receiving repeated death threats from the Camorra.

Since it was published in 2006, his expose has sold 1.2 million copies in Italy and been translated into some 40 languages.

Date created : 2009-01-05

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