Italian anti-mafia police arrest dozens in sting against Naples gang that inspired Sky Drama Gomorrah

Over 200 officers were used in 13 raids across the country

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The Independent Online

Dozens of people have been arrested by Italian police in a massive anti-Mafia sting against Naples-based group the Casalesi, the gang that is said to have inspired Sky Atlantic drama Gomorrah.

In 13 of raids involving more than 200 officers across the country, around 40 members suspected of being connected to the clan were arrested.

The operation was ordered by the Anti-mafia District Directorate, with warrants issued for Carmine and Nicola Schiavone, who are already in jail but are suspected of leading the Casalesi operations from within prison. Charges against the other suspected members include mafia association, extortion, illegal possession of weapons and receiving stolen goods.

The Casalesi family, which are based in the town of Casal di Principe to the north of the city, is thought to be the most powerful family in the Camorra or Naples mafia.

It is also the family that are said to have inspired writer Roberto Saviano to write the book Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia.

The book would later become the television series called Gomorrah, which premiered last year on Sky Atlantic.

Since the book was released in 2008 writer Saviano received a wave of death threats and was given 24-hour protection by Italian police.

In an interview with The Telegraph last year, Saviano complained, “my life is not my own anymore.”

The sting is the latest success in a long-term plan by the Italian police to target and weaken the Naples-based gang.

In 2008, 16 members of the Casalesi were convicted, including Francesco “Sandokan” Schiavone the man who is believed to be the head of the family.

Additional reporting by agencies