Police from the Italian city of Bari have carried out an extensive operation against the leaders of a crime gang responsible for the crimes of murder, extortion, robbery and the illegal possession of weapons and drugs.
A total of 24 arrests were made during the searches ordered by the District Anti-Mafia Directorate of Bari, Puglia, Lazio, Abruzzo and Emilia Romagna, with the collaboration of the Crime Prevention Departments of Puglia. Canine units and air support were also involved in the raids.
During the investigation, several weapons along with ammunition, drugs and accounting records were seized, as well more than one million euros in cash.
The present investigation began in the early 2017 when a turf war broke out in the Japigia district south of Bari over control of the drugs trade, following a split within the clan.
A series of tit-for-tat attacks and reprisals resulted in three deaths and several shooting as well as attacks on property.
The murders were committed in Bari between January and April 2017.
On January 17, Francesco Barbieri was shot dead at close range by a hit man. On March 6, four assassins, armed with machine guns and pistols, murdered Giuseppe Gelao and seriously wounded Antonio Palermiti, grandson of one of the top members of the Parisi clan. On April 12, assassins armed with Kalashnikovs killed Nicola De Santis.
“One of the largest districts of the city was controlled in a mafia-like sense through the (incursions of armed groups), which represent a form of subculture that comes from cinema and then results in the effects that we now see – said deputy prosecutor of Bari Francesco Giannella, referring to the Italian gangster movie and TV show Gomorrah, which was reportedly referenced by some of the suspects in wiretapped conversations.