Alessandro Fucarini | AFP | Getty Images
Italian police on Tuesday arrested new Mafia boss Settimino Mineo and dozens of other suspects in a major swoop against a resurgent Cosa Nostra.
Police arrested jeweller Mineo, 80, and at least 45 others in Sicily just before he was due to be officially anointed at a reconvened Mafia Commission or Cupola, the police said, reports AFP.
The suspects are accused of extortion, illegal gun possession, arson, Mafia association and other crimes, investigators said. The Sicilian Mafia managed to rebuild the Cupola after it had not met for years, Italian media reported.
The Cupola met in May for the first time since 1993 and was due to appoint Mineo official heir to notorious Mafia boss Toto Riina who died in prison last year.
Police also arrested three other Cupola members in the swoop. The four senior Mafia leaders had all recently served prison time for their activities. Italian media reported that police obtained crucial information by tapping the phone of one of the senior arrested members, Francesco Colletti.
He reportedly told his driver about details of the May 29 Cupola meeting, describing it as "a beautiful meeting, very serious, with country people, old people."
It remains a mystery where the Cupola meeting took place, but Colletti's conversation with his driver implicated Mineo and others. Colletti reportedly rejoiced in the resurrected Cupola, which was to be an improvement on Riina's "tyranny". "We all got up and kissed," Colletti reportedly said of the end of the meeting.