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Man Arrested in Case of Stolen Body

March 31, 2001

ROME (AP) _ A steelworker was arrested Saturday in northern Italy in connection with a multimillion-dollar ransom demand for the corpse of Enrico Cuccia, once Italy’s most powerful banker, news agencies reported.

The suspect was arrested at a phone booth while calling an official at Mediobanca, the bank Cuccia ran for decades, Italy’s ANSA news agency and RAI state TV reported.

Cuccia’s body was discovered missing from the family tomb near Lake Maggiore on March 20. A few days later a ransom letter was sent reportedly demanding that $3.5 million to be paid to a foreign bank account. A photo of Cuccia’s coffin inside the normally closed mausoleum was reportedly included with the note.

The suspect, who was not identified in the news reports, was taken to Turin police headquarters for questioning, ANSA said. He was described as being about 30 years old and living in a small town not far from the phone booth in the Valle di Susa area of the northwestern Piedmont region.

Cuccia, the founder of Mediobanca, died in June at age 92. Mediobanca brokered most of Italy’s major business deals after World War II.

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