Italian police seize assets worth 330 million euros from mafia 'King of Videopoker'

Rome:  Italian police on Friday confiscated assets worth 330 million euros ($419 million) including 256 properties and a rich art collection from a jailed mob businessman dubbed the "King of Videopoker".

Gioacchino Campolo, 72, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison last year, ammassed a fortune for over a decade by running tricked slot machines and had a collection of 119 works including a Salvador Dali painting in his home.

He owned homes in Milan, Paris and Rome and had 27 bank accounts in Italy and France, police said in a statement, adding that he had helped fund the powerful 'Ndrangheta organised crime group in his native Calabria region.

"Asset seizures are currently the most incisive tool against organised crime," said the statement. "Taking on criminal fortunes means taking away prestige for the 'Ndrangheta within its own criminal environment," it said.

The 'Ndrangheta -- whose name comes from the Greek for courage -- has a tight clan structure which has made it famously difficult to penetrate.

It has a major role in the international drug trafficking trade and is estimated to have an annual turnover of tens of billions of euros.

Story First Published: May 18, 2012 15:20 IST

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