Swiss, Italian governments to share seized mafia millions

ZURICH Mon Jan 7, 2013 11:29am GMT

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ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss and Italian governments will split evenly 13.8 million euros ($18 million) confiscated from an organised crime group based in southern Italy, the two said on Monday.

The Federal Department of Justice in Switzerland said that in 2001 a southern Italian court asked the Swiss authorities for help in criminal proceedings against an unnamed money laundering suspect, and the Swiss froze the money in the same year.

The suspect, named by the Italian Ministry of Justice as Ciro Giordano, was accused of laundering money for the Camorra, the organised crime group based in the Campania region of Italy.

The Italian authorities said Giordano acted for the Casalesi clan that controls a swathe of territory north of Naples. The clan inspired Roberto Saviano's best-selling book "Gomorrah: Italy's Other Mafia", which became a prize-winning film.

Switzerland's justice department said the Camorra assets were seized from a bank in the border city of Lugano. Swiss and Italian authorities declined to name the bank. ($1 = 0.7666 euros)

(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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