Rome’s Gay Village has been targeted by a local mafia gang, Italian police have revealed.
It’s nothing to do, however, with Sicilian ‘padrini’, Al Capone, guns or bombs. Instead the criminals were involved in a massive fraud.
The commercial area in the city suburbs, where gay clubs and LGBT shops and associations open every summer, was being targeted by illegal parking wardens.
They used to offer parking spaces, which are supposed to be free, and demand money which was not due.
Unaware drivers were targeted by at least 40 people, every night, and the illegal activity earned the mafia gang hundreds of thousands of euros.
After complaints were made by several LGBT people going to the Gay Village, the Italian police has intervened.
Four people have been arrested and then released, and at least 30 are being investigated for being illegal parking wardens. All of them come from Rumania or Naples.
The criminals were caught by CCTV and were arrested when four of them tried to attack a cop.
The policeman dressed himself as a beggar and started demanding money. One of the arrested told him: ‘Go away, this is my area, go away or I’ll beat you.’
The four who have been brought to the police station were all from Naples.
The chief of the local police, Antonio Di Maggio, said: ‘Those going to the Gay Village must be safe and secure. We are acting according the mayor’s will.’