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La Dolce Vita cafe seized

POLICE in Rome seized more than 200 million euros of property owned by the powerful 'Ndrangheta crime ring yesterday, including the historic Cafe de Paris featured in Federico Fellini's 1960 film "La Dolce Vita."

Officers from the Carabinieri military police and the financial crime squad impounded cafes and restaurants, businesses and luxury cars from suspected members of the 'Ndrangheta, authorities said in a statement.

In recent years, the clan from the southern Italian region of Calabria has outgrown the Sicilian mafia to become the most powerful organized crime group in Italy.

It dominates the drug trade in Europe, including traffic in cocaine from South America.

Cafe de Paris, in Rome's chic Via Veneto, was immortalized in Fellini's film in which Marcello Mastroianni portrays a "paparazzo" who falls for a glamorous movie star, played by Anita Ekberg.

The cafe was sold in 2005 for 250,000 euros (US$354,800) to a hairdresser from Calabria who, police sources said, is a suspected member of the Alvaro-Palamara gang of the 'Ndrangheta.


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