Antonio Cristofaro: Mafia Boss' Pet Crocodile Seized In Italy
Italy's anti-Mafia police unit said they have seized a crocodile that was allegedly used by a suspected mafia boss to terrorize local businessmen into paying protection money.
Police officers found the reptile while searching for weapons in a house outside the southern Italian town of Caserta. The crocodile, 5.5ft long and weighed 88lb, was kept on a secure area of the terrace fitted with high-tech video surveillance and fed live rabbits and mice, according to police official Sergio Di Mauro. The crocodile has been sent to a rehabilitation center.
He said the suspect, an alleged boss in the Naples-based Camorra crime syndicate, would invite extortion victims to his home and threaten to set the animal on them if they failed to pay or grant him favours.
No weapons were found in the house. The man was not arrested but was investigated for illegal possession of an animal. Police are also investigating extortion charges against him.