Italian police arrest 171 people in crackdown on Mafia in Naples

Italian police on Tuesday arrested 171 people in Naples in a crackdown on organized crime that put entire families behind bars and broke up a lucrative drug trafficking ring, authorities said.

The Naples prosecutors' office said the arrests mainly stemmed from the testimony of a boss-turned-informant who started cooperating with magistrates five years ago.

The morning raids in downtown Naples involved about 1,000 police officers.

The arrests targeted two clans of the Camorra crime syndicate that controlled the drug trafficking ring in and around the southern Italian city for the past decade, authorities said. In some cases couples were accused of selling the drugs with their children.

The crackdown also highlighted the increasing role of women in the Camorra.

"What has emerged is the involvement of many women, some of whom had important duties in controlling the 'piazzas' where the drugs were sold, or were in charge of transporting" the substances, said Col. Gaetano Maruccia of Naples Carabinieri, reports AP.

While female bosses remain rare, investigators have said that women have started taking a more active role in the mob as Mafia men are put behind bars.

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