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Sunday, 24 December, 2000, 15:04 GMT
'Mob queen' found in cupboard
Undated photo of Erminia Giuliano
Giuliano is alleged to be one of Italy's most dangerous criminals
Police in Naples have arrested the alleged leader of the local organized crime syndicate, who had been hiding in a secret chamber at her daughter's house.


A lovely Christmas present for the security of Naples

Interior Minister Enzo Bianco
Erminia Giuliano, nicknamed the Queen of the Clan, allegedly took over the operation of the Camorra syndicate after the arrests of her three brothers, Italian television reported.

The police ranked her as one of Italy's 30 most dangerous criminals before she disappeared from public view 10 months ago.

The Camorra is the Neapolitan version of Sicily's Mafia.

Police raided Mrs Giuliano's daughter's house in the Forcella quarter of Naples shortly after midnight and found the 44-year-old clan boss in a secret room concealed behind a kitchen cupboard and a sliding wall panel.

Map of Italy
The matriarch allegedly reorganised the syndicate's structure and daily operations after her brothers - Guglielmo, Carmine "The Lion," and "Little Luigi" Giuliano - were arrested.

She now faces charges of criminal association.

Interior Minister Enzo Bianco called the arrest "a lovely Christmas present for the security of Naples".

Two years ago the Neapolitan police arrested another alleged Camorra leader in similar circumstances,

After spending more than five years in hiding, Franceso Schiavone was found in a secret apartment behind a sliding wall of granite at his family's villa.

He had been living there with his wife and seven children.

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See also:

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