Top female mafia boss Maria Licciardi is arrested in Rome while trying to fly to Spain to ‘visit her daughter’
- 70-year-old arrested at Ciampino airport in Rome while trying to fly to Malaga
- Accused of mafia association, extortion, receiving ill-gotten funds and more
- Previously spent eight years in prison before being released in December 2009
An alleged female mafia boss has been arrested while trying to board a flight to the Costa del Sol to ‘visit her daughter’.
Maria Licciardi, 70, was cuffed at Ciampino airport in Rome Saturday while attempting to fly to Malaga in southern Spain.
The powerful boss, alleged to be part of the notorious Neapolitan mafia known as the Camorra, was hoping to visit her daughter and to ‘attend to some business’, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
But she was arrested while queueing at the check-in desk by the Carabineros Corps – Italy’s military police.
Ms Licciardi, known as ‘la piccoletta’ or the little one due to her small stature, was with two associates at the time and went with the officers quietly, according to reports.
She is accused of mafia-type association, extortion, receiving ill-gotten funds and auction rigging.
Maria Licciardi (pictured), 70, was cuffed at Ciampino airport in Rome Saturday while attempting to fly to Malaga in southern Spain.
Prosecutors allege she is the boss of the Licciardi clan, which was founded by her brother Gennaro, aka La Scimmia (the monkey), in 1994.
The gang is said to be most active in Secondigliano, a peripheral and rundown neighbourhood in Naples which is believed to be key to the drug trade.
Ms Licciardi previously spent eight years in prison before being released in December 2009 – after which she is alleged to have taken over the clan’s operations.
It comes after Italian investigators warned that its country’s mafias have been eyeing up business expansion in Spain.
General Giuseppe Governale, the anti-mafia director of Italy until 2020, warned that the influence of the Italian mafias was particularly prevalent in the Balearic Islands.
The Camorra has a known presence on the islands, which include Ibiza and Majorca, due to their strategic geographical position, which makes them a port of call for drugs coming from South America.
Palermo prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi also warned mafias will take advantage of the pandemic to buy bankrupt companies in the tourism sector throughout the continent, particularly on the Spanish coast or in France.
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