Italy Busts University Mafia Network
Italian police have cracked a Mafia-style network at the University of Messina, Sicily, and issued arrest warrants for 37 suspects, including a former provincial councilor, for forgery, police said Wednesday.
Four of the suspects are already serving prison terms for unrelated offences.
The network was said to have forged administrative documents and provided diplomas and academic titles for money. Several suspects were also charged with drug trafficking and illegal detention of firearms.
Among suspects was the former local leader of the post-fascist National Alliance, Carmelo Patti, who was expelled from the Messina province council after a conviction for drug peddling.
The forgeries were uncovered as police investigated the killing in 1998 of university lecturer Matteo Bottari who taught medicine. One of Bottari's colleagues was arrested later that year for complicity in Mafia-related crimes.
Messina made headlines earlier this year when two influential magistrates of the port city were arrested on suspicion of providing protection for Mafia kingpins -- ROME (AFP)
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