17 Italian holiday villages impounded
Rome, March 6 : Anti-mafia police impounded 17 tourist developments in Italy during an international sting operation, arrested 20 people and seized assets worth 450 million euros.
Besides the 17 holiday villages seized in the southern Calabria region, police impounded 12 companies and more than 1,000 items of real estate.
The suspects face charges of mafia association, property fraud and reinvestment of illicit assets.
Police said the investigation revealed "an extensive and complex network of Italian and foreign companies" which enabled criminal gangs to become involved in the ownership and development of dozens of real estate ventures and tourist resorts.
In Tuesday's operation, 60 police raids were carried out in Calabria, Campania, Sicily and Lazio region surrounding Rome as well as in Britain and Spain.
The businesses had links with the families of the Calabrian mafia or 'Ndrangheta and "important Spanish entrepreneurs", police said.