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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 16:27 GMT
Italy crackdown on Naples mafia
Italian police inspect a car during a raid in Naples on 8 November 2006
Police have stepped up raids since a spate of killings in November
Italian police have arrested nearly 200 people in a crackdown on drug-trafficking and organised crime in the southern city of Naples.

The police said they were targeting two clans of the local mafia, known as the Camorra. Reports say entire families were taken into custody.

About 1,000 police officers were involved in the pre-dawn raids.

Correspondents say the operation is one of the biggest ever in a city which has become notorious for organised crime.

Police reinforcements were sent to Naples in November after a spate of killings between rival Camorra groups.

Women and children

A spokesman for Italy's financial police told AFP news agency that most of those arrested were accused of drug dealing, but some were accused of trafficking.

In some cases, couples were selling drugs along with their children.

Correspondents say the arrests have also highlighted the increasing role of women in the Camorra, with some taking a more active role in criminal activities as the men in their families are put behind bars.

Women were rarely in positions of authority, investigators said, but were often involved in transporting drugs or controlling the areas where they were sold.




SEE ALSO
Italy considers Mafia crackdown
01 Nov 06 |  Europe
Seven held over Naples violence
01 Nov 06 |  Europe
Hunt for elusive Naples mafiosi
01 Feb 05 |  Europe

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