* ANSA) - Naples, April 6 - Italian police on Wednesday seized some 13 million euros in assets from the suspected 'garbage king' of the notorious Casalesi clan in the Neapolitan Camorra mafia and a businessman who acted as a front for him with waste company offices in New York, Brazil, Australia and Turkey.
Cipriano Chianese, 57, from a town near Caserta, is alleged to have led the waste-disposal operations of the Casalesi, exposed in the bestselling book Gomorrah, for decades.
Franco Caccaro, 49, a businessman from Padua, is accused of being the legitimate cover and outlet for the trade.
His TPA company has over the last few years become a world leader in making machines to handle waste.
Among the assets seized were luxury villas at the exclusive resort of Sperlonga between Rome and Naples, mansions near Caserta and industrial warehouses around Padua.
Justice Minister Angelino Alfano hailed the operation as an "extraordinary success" and said it had "inflicted a hard blow to the finances of the Casalesi clan and, in particular, to the interests of an entrepreneur believed to be a protagonist of the largest Camorra penetration in the waste sector and the ecomafia system in Campania".
Environmental group Legambiente said the assets "represent the real strongbox of Waste Incorporated, a trove accumulated since the start of the 1990s thanks to a perverse link-up between white collar crime, Freemason businesses and crime groups which managed illegal waste trafficking".
It said Chianese was "the real eminence grise of the long history of the Garbage Connection, with his double role: a lawyer for the clan and a specialist in waste disposal for the Casalesi".
The group said it was partly thanks to its reports of the multi-million-euro business that the police had moved against Chianese and his associates in a waste-disposal triangle north of Naples.
The criminal empire of the Casalesi was described in Roberto Saviano's book Gomorrah, later turned into an award-winning film of the same name.
The writer is under round-the-clock police protection because of death treats from the clan.
Camorra 'garbage king' assets seized 'Extraordinary success' says justice minister
* ANSA) -
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