Seventeen arrested in joint Italo-U.S. raid against Sicilian mafia

ROME (Reuters) – Seven people were arrested in Italy and 10 in the United States following a joint Italo-American police raid against suspected mafia members, Italian police said on Wednesday.

The arrests followed a two-year investigation which targeted members of New York’s notorious Gambino crime family and some of its Sicilian associates, police said.

The probe revealed “the solidity of the existing relationship” between New York and Sicilian mobsters, and “American interest in the organisational affairs of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra”, the statement said.

The Gambinos are one of the five historic Italian-American Mafia families in New York. Past charges against family operatives have included murder, loan sharking and illegal drug distribution.

Police said the Italian suspects were charged with mafia association and other related crimes, while those arrested in the U.S. were charged with criminal association, extortion, arson, conspiracy and bid rigging.

(Reporting by Alvise Armellini; Editing by Sharon Singleton)