Top Camorra boss nabbed in major blow to Naples crime gang
Police on Thursday arrested one of the most wanted fugitive bosses of the Naples crime syndicate, the Camorra.
Vincenzo Licciardi, 42, was caught in a house in the village of Licola, on the coast north of Naples, after a long investigation involving cutting-edge technology, police said.
''The arrest of Licciardi is a further success in our drive to arrest fugitives engaged in a power feud in the Naples area,'' said Italy's anticrime chief Pietro Grasso.
''We are close to the complete destruction of those clans which over the past few years have left dozens of people dead on the streets of Naples,'' he added.
''Licciardi's arrest was an outstanding piece of police work and represents a step ahead in our battle against the Camorra,'' Grasso observed.
''In Campania, as in other regions, we are decapitating the leading crime organizations. Law enforcement and the judiciary are dismantling them piece by piece,'' said Interior Minister Giuliano Amato
Liciardi has been on Italy's most wanted list since 2004 and was the reputed head of the so-called 'Secondigliano Alliance', a coalition of powerful Camorra families which controls drug trafficking and the extortion racket in many areas of Naples.
The alliance's major rivals are clans embedded in the city's historic center.
Licciardi rose to the top of the Secondigliano Alliance on the death of his brother Gennaro, also known as 'a Scigna' (the Monkey), who died from blood poisoning while in prison.
According to the secretary of parliament's Anti-Mafia Commission, Tommaso Pellegrino, ''Licciardi's arrest is a devastating blow to the Camorra which has lost one of its most prominent and dangerous chiefs''.
''What is important now is to not let down our guard and to nab other leading fugitives and, above all, to prevent a gang war for control of organized crime in Naples,'' he added.
Licciardi, Pellegrino observed, ''succeeded in putting together an organization which was able to impose its will in various areas of the economy, even legal sectors''.