||Campania/ Italy| Antonio Iovine
Born: September 20, 1964
Antonio "O ninno" Iovine is one of the bosses of the powerfull Casalesi clan in the region of Naples.
The Casalesi Clan
Iovine became a powerfull member of the Camorra at a young age, this and his young looks led to his nickname "O ninno" (the baby). Mario Iovine, a relative of Antonio, joined forces with Antonio Bardellino in the late 1970's to form the Casalesi clan. As the Iovine clan joined in, so did Antonio. Years later he became close to fellow Casalesi leader Francesco Schiavone, who's son would later marry Iovine's daughter.
During the mid 1980's however the Casalesi clan headed for internal conflicts when Bardellino and former allies of the Nuvoletta clan came at war. Bardellino eventually fled to Brazil but was victorious when a couple of Nuvoletto clan members were killed. However, war wasn't over yet. In 1988 Bardellino dissapeared from his Brazilian villa, never to be seen again. Suspicions rose that Mario Iovine had killed him. In the resulting power struggles also Mario was shot death in 1991. After the tensions cooled down again Antonio became head of his clan and by this was one of the 5 bosses of the Casalesi clan.
Iovine was known as the "Minister of Garbage" of the Camorra because he controlled a large part of the garbage industry in the Caserta area together with fellow Casalesi leader Francesco Bidognetti. The industry earned Iovine millions a year, money which was used to invest in international drugtrafficking and the cement business, amongst others. From 2008 on Naples had serious garbage issues when piles of garbage bags and filth was abandoned on the streets. It caused a terrible smell in several areas in the city and also caused harm to the tourist industry. Bacause the Camorra controls allot of the garbage disposal it is believed the organization had a part in the polution of the city as retaliation towards the many anti-mafia campains. Since then the subject has been discussed several times in Italian politics and also the army was used to clean the streets.
Conviction and arrest
In 1998 Schiavone was arrested after being on the run for 5 years. It is believed that from then on Iovine, together with Michele Zagaria and Francesco Bidognetti, took the lead of the Casalesi clan. Iovine himself was placed on Italy's most wanted list in 1996. In 2008 Iovine was sentenced to life in absentia during the "Spartacus Trial", a trial against 36 members of the Casalesi clan and several associates which lasted for about 10 years. In total 16 of them were sentenced to life, including Iovine, Zagaria, Schiavone and Bidognetti. During the process about 4 turncoats were murdered in the Caserta area. One being the uncle of Francesco Bidognetti, who was killed as punishment because his son had become a witness. The killings are believed to have been ordered by Iovine and Zagaria, the only free bosses left at the time.
In 2010 Iovine was eventually captured after police found him hiding in a crawl space underneath an apartment. All those years he had stayed in Casal di Principe, where the Casalesi clan had it's roots, but was never seen. Therefore it is widely believed he recieved help from the local politicians. During the arrest he didn't offer any resistance and later, when walking outside police headquarters in front of journalists and photographers, he smiled as if being happy he had been caught. Iovine is currently jailed at a high security prison in central Sardinia.
(Source: www.huffingtonpost.com, newenglandorganizedcrime.com, www.internapoli.it, www.telegraph.co.uk, "Into the heart of the Mafia" by David Lane)
.:Back to Sicilian Mafia:.