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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007, 15:01 GMT
Italy 'mafia boss' held in Naples
Edoardo Contini (left) is held by an Italian policeman
Mr Contini had been on the run since 2000
A mafia boss considered one of Italy's 30 most dangerous fugitives has been arrested in Naples, police have said.

Edoardo Contini, aged 52, was detained in a suburb of the southern city on Friday night.

Investigators believe he is one of the most powerful bosses of the Neapolitan Mafia, the Camorra.

Italy has seen a number of high-profile arrests since last month's seizure of the Sicilian Mafia chief, Salvatore Lo Piccolo, know as "the boss of bosses".

"Edoardo Contini was perhaps the most dangerous boss in Naples," Italian Interior Minister Giuliano Amato said in a statement.

Board member

Mr Amato said police had been on Mr Contini's trail for more than a year.

We said that we would catch them one-by-one. That's what we're doing
Giuliano Amato
Italian Interior Minister
Francesco Forgione, president of the Italian parliament's anti-Mafia commission, described Mr Contini's cartel as "one of the most dangerous and violent".

Mr Contini had been on the run since 2000, and is reported to have spent some of his years in hiding in northern Europe.

The Reuters news agency reported that large quantities of underwear and socks had been found in the villa where Contini was hiding, suggesting he used to throw away his dirty laundry rather than having it washed, for fear of being caught.

He is suspected of running extortion rackets and drug trafficking for the Camorra and being a member of the organisation's ruling board, or "cupola".

His arrest appears to be the latest success for Italian police fighting organised crime.

"We said that we would catch them one-by-one. That's what we're doing," Mr Amato said.

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