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Italy busts 'Mafia plastic recycling ring'

BBC News logo BBC News 2019-10-24
a group of police officers riding on the back of a motorcycle: Italian police say 15 people were detained during a raid in Sicily © Getty Images Italian police say 15 people were detained during a raid in Sicily

Italian authorities say they have smashed a Mafia-run plastic recycling ring that sent toxic material from the southern island of Sicily to China.

The scam was uncovered during a four-year investigation, after shoes made in China with the contaminated plastic were found on sale in Italy.

Police say 15 people were held on a range of offences, including extortion and waste trafficking.

Among them was alleged ringleader Claudio Carbonaro.

He had been a police witness at one stage, but in 2013 returned to Sicily and took over a feared Mafia syndicate.

He then entered the highly lucrative trade in toxic plastics.

Claudio Carbonaro was "responsible for atrocious crimes in the 1980-90s, including over 60 murders", Italian police told news agency AFP.

Thursday's arrests were made in and around the Sicilian city of Ragusa.

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