20 Mafia Arrests in Palermo Extortion Case

Italian police have made twenty arrests this morning (October 13), after business owners and shopkeepers in the district of Borgo Vecchio in Palermo, Sicily, kicked back against the years of extortion they have endured at the hands of one Cosa Nostra clan. 

The most notable name of those arrested was Angelo Monte, the reputed acting boss of the Borgo Vecchio family. Monte was released from prison in 2017, and has since reprised his role as a lead member of the clan. Nineteen others were also arrested, including members, enforcers and associates of the Mafia. 

Those arrested will face multiple charges, including attempted murder, extortion, drug trafficking conspiracy, robbery, and Mafia association. 

Police were able to establish more than twenty cases of extortion by those arrested, with thirteen of these cases coming to light after several business owners spoke out. Many of these victims claimed they had been forced to pay the Mob in order to operate in the area. Some of those targeted had suffered in silence for years.  

Police stated that investigations concerning Mafia activities in the Porta Nuova area and the Borgo Vecchio family had been ongoing for several years. 

Following the arrests, police said breaking the wall of silence was an “extraordinary result” in a district where fear had allowed Cosa Nostra to enforce a blanket control of businesses.

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