8 arrested in 2nd Palermo Mafia raid in 2 days

After 16 netted in Sicilian capital on Tuesday

(ANSA) - PALERMO, JUL 21 - Italian police on Wednesday arrested eight people in the second police raid on the Mafia in Palermo in two days.
    The eight have been charged with mafia association, aggravated extortion and arson damages, police said.
    They allegedly belong to the mandamento (branch) of Palermo boss Tommaso Natale.
    Police said they exerted "blanket extortion pressure" in the mandamento, using loan sharks and enforcers to extract the 'pizzo' protection money.
    A Palermo Mafia sweep on Tuesday netted 16 people who were arrested on charges of mafia association and other organised crime offences including aggravated extortion.
    The operation was the culmination of a two-year probe into the Brancaccio-Ciaculli 'mandamento' or Cosa Nostra branch. The probe uncovered the organisational structures of the Mafia families in the Palermo districts of Roccella and Brancaccio.
    It identified the leaders of the clans, police said. Some 50 episodes of extortion by Cosa Nostra loan sharks were reconstructed. (ANSA).


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