Mafia looks east

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The Independent Online
ROME (Reuter) - Russian criminals have made pacts with Italian Mafia groups to carve up the trade in drugs and nuclear material.

Luciano Violante, chairman of Italy's parliamentary committee of inquiry into the Mafia, said Russia had become 'a kind of strategic capital of organised crime from where all the major operations are launched'.

Mr Violante said the Russian Mafia had held at least two summits with the three main Italian crime organisations since 1991 to 'discuss drug-money laundering, the narcotics trade and selling nuclear material'.

PALERMO - A reputed Mafia boss, Salvatore Profeta, has been charged with masterminding the car-bombing death last year of Paolo Borsellino, a senior prosecutor, AP reports.