Italian police arrest female mafia boss

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A top female mafia boss, known as ‘The Godmother’ to her associates, has been arrested by Italian police as she attempted to leave the country for Spain.

Officers arrested 70-year-old Maria Licciardi at Rome’s Ciampino airport as she checked in her bags early on Saturday morning before her flight to Malaga where her daughter lives.

Her arrest comes as Spanish police picked up a notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia ringleader on Thursday after two years on the run.

She is accused of a series of offences, the Italian newspaper La Stampa reported, including mafia-type association, extortion, receiving ill-gotten funds and auction rigging. 

Licciardi, dubbed “la piccoletta” or the little one because of her small stature, is a member of the Camorra family clan founded by her late brother, Gennaro Licciardi, who died in prison in 1994.

The ANSA news agency said Licciardi is also known as La Madrina, or the Godmother, to those close to her.

Naples’ anti-mafia unit believes that she has effectively been running the organization, which is based in the suburbs of Scampia and Secondigliano.

Photo: Two different undated photographs show top female camorra (Neapolitan mafia) boss Maria Licciardi, 50, with dark hair (L) and right with blonde hair. Licciardi, listed among Italy’ s 30 most wanted criminals. EPA PHOTO ANSA/CIRO FUSCO

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