The operation is part of a wider investigation aimed at capturing Matteo Messina Denaro, a boss of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia who has been on the run since 1993, Carabinieri police said in a statement.
The raids, which involved teams of police helicopters, targeted alleged mafia members in the vicinity of Trapani, a town in western Sicily, and led to the arrest of those suspected of criminal conspiracy, extortion and gambling, among other criminal offenses. facts.
Messina Denaro, despite his long disappearance, was still able to issue orders regarding the way the mafia was run in the area, its regional stronghold, police said.
The operation, which targeted 70 people in total, involved searches and seizure of assets from the other suspects, the Carabinieri added.
Messina Denaro has been sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for his role in the 1992 murders of anti-mafia prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
He also faces a life sentence for his role in bombings in Florence, Rome and Milan that killed 10 people the following year.