Rome restaurants accused of funding mob closed in anti-mafia swoop

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The businesses closed down by Italian police are all located close to the Pantheon and other landmark sites in Rome's historic centreThousands of visitors to Rome have been unwittingly pouring cash into the pockets of a ruthless mafia organisation by dining at two of the city’s best-known tourist restaurants, Italian police said Thursday. Authorities on Thursday closed down the two eateries near the Pantheon in the heart of Rome’s historic centre, saying they were run by the ‘Ndrangheta, a notorious criminal syndicate that controls much of Europe’s cocaine trade. The national anti-mafia unit said the two restaurants, La Rotonda and Er Faciolaro, were controlled by alleged mobster Salvatore Lania and used to launder millions of euros generated by what is now Italy’s most powerful criminal organisation. Separately, financial police in Calabria, ‘Ndrangheta’s homeland, issued warrants for the arrest of 11 people and revealed that one of the biggest shopping centres in southern Italy had been built and run by the mafia group.