ROME: Italian police have arrested the new head of the Sicilian mafia and 45 other alleged mobsters in a powerful blow to organised crime on the Mediterranean island, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday (Dec 4).
The previous boss of bosses, Salvatore "Toto" Riina, died in prison last year after spending almost a quarter of century behind bars for ordering dozens of murders, including those of two of Italy's most famous anti-mob magistrates.
Police said that among those arrested on Tuesday was Settimo Mineo, head of the local mafia families in the Sicilian capital Palermo. Officials said he had recently been named the overall head of the island's mafia, known as 'Cosa Nostra' (Our Thing).
"The arrests ... represent one of the biggest blows inflicted on the mafia by the state. Mineo had been elected 'heir' of Toto Riina after his death. There is no more room for this type of scum in Italy," Di Maio wrote on Instagram.
Police are due to release more details about their operation later in the day.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Crispian Balmer)