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Italian police on Monday carried out 22  arrest warrants issued against suspected Sicilian  mafia members   for running a rapacious extortion  racket  aimed at  businessmen in the Bagheria area of Palermo ,reports Ansa news

Police dragged away in handcuffs, five suspected Sicilian mafiosi,and served arrest warrants for  17 other suspects  whom were already behind bars on other charges

According to police, over the  years, the  suspects  shook down  shopkeepers and  businessmen  in Bagheria  for protection money called ” pizzo”

The victims of the vicious  racket   broke ”the  code of  silence” and  identified  the  ruthless  mobsters responsible for the extortion, police said

The  mob shakedown  scheme  extended to businesses and shops  in the smart seaside resort suburb of Palermo  from building to furniture and clothes stores, wholesale fruit and fish sales, bars, video games arcades and betting shops, police said.



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