Carabinieri police capture one of Italy's most wanted Mafia fugitives

October 2, 2007 11:53

Authorities arrested a man listed as one of Italy's most dangerous Mafia fugitives, a Sicilian known as the "king of extortion fees" for allegedly running a vast illegal protection racket, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. Carabinieri police arrested Enrico Scalavino in the Sicilian capital, Palermo, the ministry said in a statement. It said Scalavino was on the list of Italy's 100 most dangerous fugitives. Scalavino belonged to the "Corso Calatafimi" family and had been on the run since May, the ANSA news agency reported. He was accused of mafia association, drug trafficking and running an extortion racket that covered a vast area of Palermo, ANSA said. Last month, the Sicilian chapter of Italy's business association Cofindustria vowed to expel industrialists who paid the "pizzo" extortion fee to the Mafia. Thousands of merchants are forced to pay the pizzo, and those who refuse often end up losing their business. Amato said Sicilian businessmen could rest assured that the government and law enforcement were backing them in their "rebellion against the pizzo."

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