Italy, on trail of Mafia boss, seizes villas, yacht and more

ROME — Anti-Mafia authorities in Sicily on the trail of the No. 1 fugitive Mafia boss have confiscated 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion) in property.

The seizure of tourist resorts, a 21-meter (70-foot) yacht, companies and other property Saturday was called one of the biggest hauls in Italy's strategy to weaken criminal syndicates by going after ill-gained wealth.

The property belonged to heirs of a tour company owner who authorities allege had links to Mafia boss.

Italian news agency ANSA quoted lawyers for heirs to the late tourist magnate Carmelo Patti as vowing to sue to regain the properties.

A top anti-Mafia investigator, Giuseppe Governale, contends there are links between the properties and a crime clan in western Sicily headed by convicted mob boss Matteo Messina Denaro, on the run since 1993.

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This story has been corrected to show that the dollar conversion figure is $1.67 billion, not $1.32 billion.

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