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Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Monday, 26 May 2008 16:20 UK

Dozens held in Naples mafia raids

Piles of rubbish on the outskirts of Naples, Italy
The Camorra is blamed, in part, for the Naples rubbish crisis

About 50 alleged members of the Naples mafia, the Camorra, have been arrested, Italian police say.

The raids in Caserta, north of Naples, targeted the Iovine clan, believed to be one of the most powerful groups in the Camorra, police said.

The clan had bribed civil servants to win contracts and had even fixed local elections in favour of its preferred candidates, police alleged.

Police also confiscated about 80m euros (64m) in assets in Monday's raids.

Weapons, including shotguns and an AK-47, and ammunition were also seized.

Among those arrested was Giuseppe Iovine, brother of clan leader Antonio Iovine, who is on the run, police said.

The charges against those arrested included extortion, illegal arms possession and money laundering, a police statement said.

The Camorra has also been implicated in one of Italy's most pressing issues - the accumulation of piles of rubbish in the streets of Naples.

The Camorra is involved in every part of the industry, from collection to treatment to disposal, says the BBC's Christian Fraser in Italy.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced tough new measures last week to try to solve the rubbish crisis.


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