Italian police arrested 68 suspected members of the Neapolitan Mafia on Tuesday wanted for murder, drug trafficking and money laundering in one of largest crackdowns on organised crime in recent years.

"The police arrested 36 people, the carabinieri (paramilitary police) arrested 20 others and the financial police the last 12," a police spokesman said.

Italian judges had issued a total of 109 arrest warrants for this operation, for "homicide, association with mafia figures, drugs trafficking and money laundering," the spokesman added.

Some of those named were already in detention on other offences, but others were still on the run.

Naples carabinieri said they had seized assets worth €5 million including land in Spain and bank accounts in Monaco.

The warrants were directed mainly at the Amato-Pagano family, part of a breakaway clan that has set itself up against Paolo Di Lauro, who leads a rival family in the Scampia district of Naples.

Police have blamed the war between the two factions - rival branches of the Camorra, or Neapolitan Mafia - for dozens of deaths in recent years.

Tuesday's raids followed the arrest over the weekend of 44-year-old Raffaelle Amato in Marbella, southern Spain. The head of the Amato-Pagano family, he was picked up on Sunday.

Mr Amato, from the Naples suburb of Mugnano, had been on the run since 2006.

He is suspected of having carried out eight murders between 1991 and 1993, Naples prosecutor Giovandomenico Lepore told ANSA at the time of his arrest.

He is also suspected to be one of the main suppliers of cocaine to the Naples area, said Mr Lepore.

Italian investigators said he spoke perfect Spanish and lived under a false name in a village on the Costa del Sol.

Police had tracked him down from nearby Malaga after a lengthy investigation, arresting him along with one of his lieutenants, named as Carmine Minucci.

Mr Amato's wife, Elmelinda Pagano, was one of those arrested in Tuesday's operation, the police spokesman said.

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