21 Mafia arrests and 2 Mafia murders in my town last week

They arrested 21 Mafiosi in my little backwater of a town last week. All of them had been very high profile players in international organised crime.

Along with the 21 arrests, the police also recovered 30 million Euros in cash, buildings, businesses, supermarkets, and other varied loot. The men had been engaged in drug trafficking, extortion, kidnap, illegal arms dealing and rigging elections.

This place is honestly a one-horse town with a tiny population. The most exciting thing that has ever happened here since the Second World War was when local boy and international movie mogul Salvatore Tornatore, who directed Cinema Paradiso, came back for the premiere of his more recent and much more hilarious film, Baaria.



Oh, that and the time some English friends of mine came to visit in February, and their kids decided to go swimming in the sea. I admit it was rather nippy, but it was honestly no colder than the average English summer; yet the locals still reminisce about that from time to time, in a blend of awestruck astonishment and quiet admiration.

So forgive me for being rather gobsmacked to find out that we had such a lot of Mafia bigshots here.

One of the men arrested was the mayor of a nearby town called Alimena, a man called Giuseppe Scrivano. He was a member of the political party called the Lega Nord, which would never get elected in Sicily unless the elections were rigged, because their main policy is to cut Sicily loose and create a new Italy without the primitive peoples of Italy’s incompetent south. Their politicians are regularly to be seen on Italian TV, railing against the Mafia of the south who are “dragging the whole country down”.

All the men arrested were major bosses, organising illegal international arms trading operations on a massive scale as well as drug trafficking, gambling, loan sharking and contract killing. And they all lived within spitting distance of my own house. Yoinks!

And a right crew they looked too. Check out a small sample of the mugshots, if you dare:



When members of the Japanese Mafia mess up, they are punished by being forced to cut off one of their own fingers. The Sicilian Mafia, on the other hand, apparently punish mistakes with a ferocious eyebrow plucking.

(They don’t really. I’m just kidding about that. At least I think I am.)



Two of the men targeted for arrest were part of the Canadian branch of the Sicilian Mafia. They had been tracked and monitored all the way from Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police…

canadian mounties 2

…were working very closely with the Italian Carabinieri…


It’s a good job the Mounties have their own transport, because the Carabinieri in Italy sometimes suffer setbacks like this:


The two Canadian crooks, being tracked as part of this massive police sting operation, were called Juan Ramon Paz Fernandez and Fernando Pimentel. These names immediately alert you to the fact that they were not of Italian origin. This would have made their admission to Mafia membership a controversial move, and would place them on a risky footing within the organisation. Non-Italians are very much regarded as second-tier associates within Cosa Nostra…. even as far away as Canada.

One interesting snippet that came out of the whole monitoring and sting operation, codenamed Argo, was the revelation of the Cosa Nostra membership initiation rites. It has long been known that joining the Mafia is rather like joining the Freemasons or the Moonies or maybe a US university frat society: they demand utter loyalty and have wierd joining rituals.

New initiates to the Sicilian Mafia have to do the following:

1. Prick your trigger-pulling finger with a thorn from a bitter orange tree (in case you’ve never foolishly tried to climb an orange tree, you’ll have to take it from me that these thorns are two inches long and can pierce human bones); some clans of the Mafia use a golden thorn instead

2. bleed onto a religious picture

3. set the bloody picture on fire whilst holding it in both hands

4. whilst not screaming like a girl because your fingers are getting barbecued, recite an oath of loyalty until death to the Mafia.

The police also learned, from one bugged conversation, that the new initiates who make mistakes are punished by having their legs thrashed with horsewhips. Well, the next time I see a bloke limping along with blood seeping out of his trouser legs and with savagely plucked eyerows, I shall NOT offer to help him across the road. I shall run away as fast as I can, shouting “Ha! ha! You can’t catch me! Thank goodness!”

The Canadian arm of Cosa Nostra has a massive war going on at the moment. Murders are taking place in blockbuster quantities, like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, in the struggle for new leadership. These two Spanish-sounding Canadians had decided to forge strong links with the Bagheria branch of Cosa Nostra and increase the amount of drug trafficking between Canada and Italy, in the hope of getting to the top in the Canadian power struggle.

So, how did that work out for them? Did the police manage to arrest them?

No. The mob got to them first. They were found in the local rubbish dump the day before yesterday, shot 30 times each and burnt to black crisps.


This news even worked its way up to a UK Guardian reporter in Rome yesterday. Maybe my backwater of a home town is going to be famous for something other than two little English girls shivvering in the sea!

And I wish to convey my thanks for making my town a safer place to live, both to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Canadian mounties - Copia

and to the courageous ROS (anti-Mafia) division of the Carabinieri of Sicily.

Carabinieri 2 - Copia

15 Comments Add yours

  1. I’d go and check the cellar for occupants, If I were you. Brr. How long do they get off “work” to let their hands mend after all that self-inflicted barbary? Can’t imagine them being much use to anyone with burnt and perforated hands. Unless they are used to drain the pasta….


  2. Ha ha!
    My cellar is such a mess, I could easily have a few Mafiosi laying low down there.
    Though I saw a documentary last week about how the Mafia escape by creeping about in a vast network of underground tunnels that snake under the whole city of Palermo and the Palermo bay area. Some are 1,000-year-old irrigation channels built by the Arabs and others are ancient mains water pipes and medieval sewage channels. So I could just as well end up with some Mafioso clambering up out of the toilet! Perforated, charred hands and all!!!!


  3. Diane C says:

    Wow. This did hit the Canadian new services but they didn’t mention that they had followed the trail to your neighbourhood!


  4. Rosaria in South Florida says:

    Whatever you do, stay clear of that mafioso with the mole between his eyes. The growth is a incontrovertible evidence that he is a jettatore and capable to sinking the whole island with a glance.


  5. I realise I should have been scared restrospectively. Since they’re all banged up to rights now, I suppose I can relax a bit. Or can I…???? (clue the eerie scary music)


  6. moi says:

    Wow, that is more than enough excitement for the year.


  7. Yikes! Terrifying!! And they look like such normal chaps (with the exception of the eyebrows, obviously…) Did you know / recognize any of them??


    1. I went through all the mugshots and I’m relieved to report I didn’t recognise a single one. Though I most likely have passed some of them in the street – as you say, they look so average and anonymous. (apart from the eyebrows, as we have already mentioned….)
      The odd thing is, if you ask around about ANYONE in this town, someone is their neighbour and someone is their cousin and someone’s brother was their best man. Yet with this lot, NOBODY knows them at all, has ever heard of them, ever seen them, etc. Nobody wants to risk admitting any connection whatsoever to people like this!


  8. redcactus says:

    I was thinking about just tonight, and then I opened WordPress and here you are with big news! (Just hope they never are set free, or at least they don’t read English 🙂 )


  9. Pecora Nera says:

    I love the wheel clamp on the Carabinieri, was it placed there by the Polizia?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to know!
      Maybe the Vigili Urbani? Or do they have private companies for wheel clamping in Italy?
      And I wonder if the Carabinieri arrested the clampers in return, for obstruction of police duty?
      With the Italian mentality it could have triggered a vendetta at national level…


  10. cindyfisherwoman says:

    Wow! That’s some piece! Next stop: Exploring those tunnels, eh?


    1. I wish I had the courage to do a guided tour of those Qanat tunnels. I think it would be fascinating, but the idea of being in an enclosed space underground scares me enough to make my hands tremble!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. debwylde says:

    Makes me wonder why North Americans feel the need to adjoin themselves to these thug organisations. Some Irish descendants across the Atlantic try to fulfil their “Irishness” by singing 100 year old rebel songs and donating to the IRA under the misguided notion that they are helping that beleagured country, even though they have never set foot on Irish soil and never will do, meanwhile, the ones who leave Ireland never want to return!


    1. Hear hear, totally agree.
      I (along with all of Britain) was infuriated and appalled by the so-called Irish in America who funded international terrorism which killed hundreds of people, including children. And I have to admit that, for one tiny brief second on 9-11, I had a little thought of “Now that the boot’s on the other foot, you can find out what it feel like yourselves.”
      I have Irish friends who pointed out the similarity between the IRA and the Mafia in many ways – the illegal arms dealing and drug sales to make money, the utterly cynical methods of recruiting and brainwashing marginalised and disadvantaged young boys whom they brainwash and exploit.


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