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Dutch Police Detain Alleged Mafia Boss

March 12, 2003

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Dutch police Wednesday detained an alleged mafia boss on Italy’s 30 most-wanted list.

Filippo Cerfeda, 35, was arrested around 1:15 a.m. in Ridderkerk, on the outskirts of Rotterdam, said Robert Meulenbroek, a spokesman for the Dutch government prosecutor’s office.

In Rome, Giuseppe Lumia, a member of the Italian parliament’s anti-Mafia commission said the arrest ``deals a very serious blow to the Sacred United Crown,″ a crime syndicate in the Puglia area of southern Italy.

Cerfeda is wanted for drug trafficking, extortion, bribery and participating in a criminal organization. He also is accused of ordering the 1999 murder of alleged mafioso Fabio Beato in a drug-related feud, Italian police spokesman Massimo Gambino said.

Cerfeda fled the city of Lecce, Italy, as police carried out an anti-Mafia sweep in August 2001. Since then, he is believed to have been in Greece and the Netherlands, Gambino said.

The Dutch prosecutor’s office said Cerfeda had been tailed ``for a short while″ after being spotted in Amsterdam.

The Italian Interior Ministry said Italy had asked for Cerfeda’s extradition.

But Meulenbroek said Italian officials have not yet filed a formal extradition request, and it could take months to complete if Cerfeda contests his extradition.

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