20 members of Rome’s infamous Casamonica clan have been arrested and 20 million Euros ($22 million) worth of assets confiscated by 150 carabinieri – Italian military police – who conducted early morning raids on Thursday, after two of the clan members ex-wives tipped off the authorities.
The Casamonica clan is known for its “Scarface-chic” – gold faucets, gold bathtubs, and gilded furniture. They operate on the outskirts of Rome and in the hill-towns surrounding it.
The police used drones to assists them with the 20 arrests and besides the cash, they found jewelry, gold watches, and guns. They also seized villas, a bar, and a gas station that had all been paid for by loan sharking, racketeering, and extortion.
Video footage from a villa that was confiscated in Monterosi, 30 km north of Rome in the Lazio region, shows, amongst other things, an ostentatious gold dining table set with gold chairs. You can see the video at the end of this article.
Two of the clan’s members ex-wives ratted the clan out, providing all the necessary inside information to capture the clan members and to help the government get convictions.
In the past, many wives and ex-wives have spoken out about the control their husbands and other male members had over them. They are often asked to stay quiet, stay home, and be a housewife. Recently, women have held higher positions within the clan.
Local media quoted one of the ex-wives saying, “The different branches of the family are jealous of each other, but when there is a problem they come together, united. They are like a wolf pack. That’s how they work.”
Businesses have suffered greatly during the lockdown which has led the Italian police to crack down on loan-sharks who prey on desperate people.
Referring to loan-sharking victims who have been threatened and extorted by the clan, Interior Minister Undersecretary Carlo Sibilia said, “Starting today they can breathe. Artisans and business owners are paying the effects of the pandemic and struggling to overcome the crisis”.
Founded in 1970, the Casamonica clan claim that they are the “protectors of Rome” and without them, other large organized crime families, such as the Camorra in Naples, would take over.
One of the largest raids happened two years ago when 250 carabinieri arrested 31 Casamonica clan members.