Dozens of Naples mafia suspects held in drugs bust

Naples, Jan 18 (IANS/AKI) Police in southern Italy on Tuesday arrested 45 suspected members of Naples mafia drugs gangs who allegedly used women and children in their operations and whose clients included taxi drivers.

The bust targeted the Naples mafia or Camorra’s Elia clan, and the suspects face charges of mafia association, drugs trafficking and pushing, extortion and possessing illegal weapons, police said.

The suspected gang members used women and children to make up the doses of cocaine and other drugs and deliver these to clients and pushers, investigators said.

The Elia clan earned up to 5,000 euros ($5,400) a day pushing drugs in northern Naples and has been fighting a turf war with the rival Amato-Pagano Camorra clan for control of the lucrative business, according to investigators.

Local taxi drivers were allegedly both clients and pushers of the drugs, a local Naples daily reported.

Clan bosses Ciro and Antonio Elia regularly dined free of charge at a well-known restaurant in Naples that was targeted by their extortion racket, the daily said.