Palermo (Italy): The Italian police on Tuesday arrested an alleged leader of the notorious Sicilian mafia and 46 other people thought to be linked to the criminal gang on the island of Sicily.
A massive police operation led to the arrest of 80-year-old Settimo Mineo, said to be the new leader of the Cosa Nostra — the most prominent organized crime group on the island of Sicily — as well as 46 suspected members of the mob, the police said in a statement cited by Efe news.
Mineo was reportedly the head of the Pagliarelli district and considered the recently appointed kingpin of the entire organization.
Reports say that Mineo, the owner of a jewellery shop in Palermo, became the Cosa Nostra boss after Salvatore Riina — known as Totò and renowned for a bloody murder campaign in the 1990s which resulted in the assassination of prosecutors involved in an anti-mafia commission — died last November.
Mineo has already served 11 years in prison after he was arrested in a maxi-trial led by prosecutor and judge Giovanni Falcone that targeted the Cosa Nostra.
The police said that Mineo became the newly-appointed boss of Cosa Nostra after the gang orchestrated a meeting, the first in three years, to name a kingpin.
The 46 others could face charges of belonging to the mafia, extortion and illegal possession of arms amongst others.