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Italy police smash mob fraud scheme

Italian police say they have broken up an insurance fraud run by a crime syndicate that counted on the collusion of doctors, lawyers and car repair shop owners.

Rodolfo Ruperti, a police official based in Catanzaro, a stronghold of the Calabria-based 'ndrangheta syndicate, said today the bosses of its Giampa' clan used the scheme's proceeds - millions of euros annually - to pay the "salaries" of rank-and-file mobsters.

A total of 65 warrants were issued, but many of those sought are already in prison for other crimes.

Separately, Italy's war on organised crime has a new anti-Mafia tsar. Franco Roberti, a veteran prosecutor who has battled the Camorra crime syndicate in the Campania region, was named as the national anti-Mafia prosecutor, succeeding Pietro Grasso, now Senate president.

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