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Maria Licciardi, 70, was arrested yesterday during an operation at Rome Ciampino airport. It was determined that Licciardi, who said he went to visit his daughter in Spain, was carrying a one-way ticket and a large sum of cash.
Licciardi, who had previously been jailed for Mafia-related crimes, was held under an arrest warrant issued by the Naples prosecutor’s office for involvement in Camorra-related crimes.
According to information published in the Italian press, the head of the mafia captured yesterday is the brother of Gennaro Licciardi, the founder of the Licciardi clan. Maria Licciardi was also one of the main leaders of the Secondigliano Alliance, which united the different clans of the Camorra.
It is also stated that Maria Licciardi inspired the character of Scianel in the Gomorrah series, which focuses on the inner workings of the Camorra. Licciardi’s nicknames in the press include “Mafia mother (madrina)”, “Lady Camorra”, “Bloody Mary”, “junior”, “Aunt Maria”.
Licciardi is said to have led racketeering and counterfeiting gangs. Mafia boss Luigi Giuliano, who was a confessor when he was a Camorra member, said Maria Licciardi was the “mastermind and cashier of the counterfeit trade”. Allegations against Licciardi included issuing murder orders and money laundering through real estate investments.
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Maria Licciardi, meanwhile, said at a trial in 2003, “I am a housewife, but I have always worked as a shoemaker. I hate drugs, I despair when I see young people using drugs.” .
After Licciardi was arrested on his way to Spain, Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese praised the security forces who carried out the operation against “the Camorra organizations which control a large area and manage illegal activities ”.
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