Italy: Minister shows Mafia stance with swim in seized pool

July 3, 2018
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Interior Minister Matteo Salvini bathes in the swimming pool as he visits a farm confiscated in 2007 from a mobster to emphasize anti-Mafia procedures, in Suvignano, near Siena, central Italy, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. After the villa was confiscated from a Mafia boss after 24 years of legal procedures, it was turned into a holiday spot for tourists. (Fabio Di Pietro/ANSA via AP)

ROME (AP) — Italy’s interior minister has demonstrated his anti-Mafia priorities by diving into a swimming pool at a Tuscan villa that was confiscated from a mobster.

Matteo Salvini then swam a lap in the pool as journalists watched on Tuesday.

The villa was seized from a Mafia boss in 2007 after 24 years of legal procedures and turned into a resort.

Anti-Mafia prosecutors have long advocated fighting organized crime by depriving mobsters of ill-gotten property, including houses, hotels, farms and restaurants.

Salvini’s League party boasts a get-tough-on-crime stance, but organized crime issues were largely absent from his election campaign this year.

Referring to stripping mobsters of illicitly acquired wealth, Salvini said: “We must leave these gentlemen in their underwear.”

He advocated streamlining confiscation procedures so properties can be quickly converted for other uses.