An Italian mother who vanished seven years ago was murdered and her body fed to pigs by a mobster from the notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia, police revealed today.

Maria Chindamo, 42, a mother of three, disappeared from her farm in Calabria in southern Italy in May 2016 after she refused offers to buy her land made by the mafia.

It has now emerged that her neighbour and mobster, Salvatore Ascone, 57, allegedly killed Chindamo for rejecting offers to buy the land she had inherited from her late husband, who committed suicide, according to anti-mafia police. 

Ascone was one of 84 ‘Ndrangheta mafia mobsters who was arrested today by hundreds of Italian police officers in a huge crackdown on the feared Italian crime syndicate.

The mobster is accused of murdering Chindamo with two other people, one of whom was a minor who has since died, reports La Stampa

Maria Chindamo, 42, (pictured) a mother of three, disappeared from her farm in Calabria in southern Italy in May 2016 after she refused offers to buy her land made by the mafia

Maria Chindamo, 42, (pictured) a mother of three, disappeared from her farm in Calabria in southern Italy in May 2016 after she refused offers to buy her land made by the mafia

It has now emerged that her neighbour and mobster, Salvatore Ascone, 57, (pictured)  allegedly killed Chindamo for rejecting offers to buy the land she had inherited from her late husband, who committed suicide, according to anti-mafia police

It has now emerged that her neighbour and mobster, Salvatore Ascone, 57, (pictured)  allegedly killed Chindamo for rejecting offers to buy the land she had inherited from her late husband, who committed suicide, according to anti-mafia police

Special police units conduct raids in the Spanish quarters of Naples, Italy, as part of a crackdown on the mafia on Thursday

Special police units conduct raids in the Spanish quarters of Naples, Italy, as part of a crackdown on the mafia on Thursday 

‘The murder of Maria Chindamo was also decided to punish the attitudes of a free and independent woman, who had enrolled at university and wanted to become an agricultural entrepreneur,’ chief prosecutor of Catanzaro, Nicola Gratteri, said. 

On 6 May, 2016, police found Chindamo’s car abandoned with the engine still running. Inside the vehicle, there were traces of the mother-of-three’s blood and pieces of her hair – but her body was never discovered. 

Police say this is because Ascone allegedly killed Chindamo and fed her body to pigs who hadn’t eaten for days. 

Chindamo had been raising her three children at the farm alone after separating from her husband, who later killed himself following the separation. 

He was arrested in 2019 but released due to lack of evidence. However, in 2021 a mafia informer who had been sharing a prison cell with mobster Emanuele Mancuso. 

Mancuso is said to have told the mafia informer that Ascone had killed Chindamo because she had refused to sell her farm and thought that her husband’s family would be blamed for her death. 

‘He made her disappear, knowing full well that the family of the husband would be held responsible,’ Mancuso is alleged to have said, the Times reported at the time.  

The ‘Ndrangheta, of which Ascone is said to be part of, has now surpassed Cosa Nostra as the most powerful mafia group in the country, and one of the largest criminal networks in the world.

Its mobsters often dispose the bodies of their victims by feeding them to the pigs.

This morning, 600 Italian police officers arrested 84 suspected mafia mobsters in a huge raid across Italy. 

The suspects are accused of mafia criminal association; murder; possession, production, and trafficking of drugs and weapons; criminal tax evasion and money laundering, reports Il Giornale. 

A man is detained as special police units conduct a raid on the mafia in Rome, Italy, on Thursday

A man is detained as special police units conduct a raid on the mafia in Rome, Italy, on Thursday

This morning, 600 Italian police officers arrested 84 suspected mafia mobsters in a huge raid across Italy

This morning, 600 Italian police officers arrested 84 suspected mafia mobsters in a huge raid across Italy

European authorities have been waging a campaign against ‘Ndrangheta, arguably the world’s richest organised crime group, in recent years. 

The group has exploited tens of billions of dollars in cocaine revenues over decades to extend its criminal reach across Europe and into several continents as the Sicilian Mafia lost influence. 

In May this year, police arrested more than 100 suspected mobsters thought to belong to the ‘Ndrangheta mafia. 

Under the cover of darkness, thousands of police officers across Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Portugal and Spain raided the suspected mobsters’ homes as part of an investigation codenamed ‘Operation Eureka’ in May. 

In Germany, more than 1,000 officers descended on their homes and offices across the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate to the east, with more than 20 suspected criminals arrested in the raids.

And in Italy, 1,400 Carabinieri police officers backed by helicopters arrested 108 suspected ‘Ndrangheta mobsters in the major operation which saw huge piles of cash, drugs and firearms seized.

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