ROME — Italian police said they seized $13 million in assets and arrested 37 people, including two Carabinieri officers, accused in a Sicilian Mafia extortion racket involving fruit, fish, and drugs.
Police said one victim was the owner of a swank Via Veneto restaurant in Rome who was forced to come up with $212,000 after receiving threats from mobsters over deliveries of fruit and vegetables.
Two Carabinieri officers are accused of illegally using information from a police database to extort the owner, who eventually went to police.
The investigation focused on the Rinzivillo family of Sicily, and its drug-dealing envoys in Germany. It showed how Cosa Nostra had infiltrated Rome businesses, using legitimate fresh and frozen fish front companies, and made alliances with other organized crime groups.
‘‘Since the summer of 2014, we have been facing a recognizable, visible organizational structure of an important Mafia family from Agrigento, the Rinzivillo,’’ said prosecutor Michele Prestipino Giarrita.