- Title: Italian police make arrests, accuse mafia of profiting from migrants
- Date: 15th May 2017
- Summary: LAMPEDUSA, ITALY (FILE - MAY 2015) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS IN RECEPTION CENTRE
- Embargoed: 29th May 2017 16:22
- Keywords: arrests police mafia Migrants
- Location: CROTONE AND CATANZARO, ITALY
- City: CROTONE AND CATANZARO, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0046GY9O3R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: QUALITY AS INCOMING
Italian mobsters took over the running of one of Europe's largest migrant reception centres, using a Roman Catholic charity organisation as a cover to cream off millions of euros in state funds, prosecutors said on Monday (May 15).
Police arrested 68 people in early morning raids in the southern toe of Italy, including a priest and the head of the local Misericordia association that manages the Sant'Anna Cara immigrant centre in Isola Capo Rizzuto, near the town of Crotone.
Police said many of those arrested belonged to the Arena clan of the 'Ndrangheta mafia - Italy's largest organised crime group which is based in the region of Calabria and is one of Europe's biggest cocaine importers.
The police statement said the Arena clan was also suspected of muscling in on the running of a migrant centre on the southern island of Lampedusa, which is on the front line of Italy's ongoing migrant crisis.
More than half a million migrants have reached Italy since 2014, mostly by boat from neighbouring Libya. The state spends some 16 million euros a year to house and feed the migrants at the Sant'Anna Cara.
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