22 Apr 2011

Football clubs seized in mafia raids

3:45 pm on 22 April 2011

Police in Italy have seized hundreds of millions of dollars of suspected mafia assets, including two football clubs.

Investigators say the 'Ndrangheta mafia used the fourth division teams Interpiana and Sapri to gain support in the southern region of Calabria.

Dozens of businesses, vehicles and plots of land have also been confiscated.

The Calabria-based syndicate is believed to be the most powerful mafia in Italy, thanks to its hold on the European cocaine trade, the BBC reports.

The total value of the assets confiscated - which included firms involved in construction, retail and agriculture - is estimated at €190 million.

A total of 44 houses, 60 plots of land and 164 vehicles were seized in the raid.