- Italy - mafia - organised crime
Top mafia brothers are caught in weekend of high-profile arrests
Italian police have arrested top fugitive Pasquale Russo, on the run since 1993, with his brother Carmine in a dawn raid the day after a third brother Salvatore was found holed up in a chicken farm.
AFP - A reputed mafia boss, on Italy's list of the 10 most wanted fugitives, was arrested Sunday in the Naples region, in a crackdown that also nabbed two of his brothers accused of organised crime, police said.
Pasquale Russo, 62, was "the big boss of the (mafia) clan and has been on the most-wanted list for 16 years", a spokesman for Italy's paramilitary carabinieri police in the southern city said.
Russo, on the run since 1993, has been convicted several times for murder and for association with the mafia.
Police made the surprise arrest early Sunday, arriving at a cottage in Sperone, about
30 kilometres (20 miles) east of Naples, where Pasquale Russo was holed up with his brother, Carmine, 47, also a fugitive from the law since 2007.
On Saturday another brother, Salvatore Russo, 51, was arrested at a farm on the outskirts of Naples.
The Russo clan controlled "all the illicit activities in a vast area" comprising some 40 towns in the Naples region, police said on Saturday.
The Russo brothers had reorganised the structure of Naples' Camorra mafia in the early 1990s after the boss of the region, Carmine Alfieri, turned and cooperated with the authorities, and the Russos "exercised absolute control over their territory", police said.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni on Saturday spoke of the "extraordinary success against the mafia and the Camorra", while Justice Minister Angelino Alfano saluted the "extremely hard blow" to the criminal gang.
The Naples Camorra, comprising several dozen families affiliated to often feuding clans, is believed to be 5,000-strong.