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‘Godmother’ mafia boss dubbed ‘The Little One’ who inspired TV character jailed

A woman mafia boss who inspired a character in the Gomorrah TV series has been jailed for 13 years.

Maria Licciardi, dubbed “the little one” due to her small stature, led the Camorra syndicate.

She inspired chain-smoking mobster Scianel in the Sky Atlantic show.

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Licciardi, also known as "The Godmother”, was convicted of running extortion rackets and handling stolen cash.

She protested her innocence in court, insisting she was “a humble housewife”.

But former Camorra boss Luigi Misso previously said she is “much more dangerous” than Matteo Messina Denaro, the head of rival mafia group the Cosa Nostra, who was arrested in January.

Following her release from jail in 2009, she took over the management of her clan’s business in Naples.

Licciardi, 71, was arrested in August 2021 at Rome’s Ciampino airport as she waited for a flight to Spain to see her daughter.

When she was first arrested in 2021, it was reported that she was unfazed by the arrest at Rome’s Ciampino Airport as she checked in luggage for a flight to Spain.

A spokesman for the police said: "She didn’t bat an eyelash when the officers blocked her and served the warrant signed by the Naples prosecutors’ office."

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When first arrested in 2001 after she was stopped as she drove a car near Naples, Licciardi had featured among Italy’s top-30 wanted fugitives. She was released from prison in 2009 after serving time for convictions of Mafia-connected crimes.

Naples prosecutors, in a 2009 interview with The AP, described Licciardi as a true “madrina" or ”godmother” in the Camorra syndicate.

Her brother was a clan boss and she made decisions for the crime family along with other clan bosses, prosecutors said.

The extortion of local business owners, drug trafficking and the infiltration of public works contracts are traditional sources of illicit revenue for the Naples’-based Camorra, one of Italy’s major crime syndicates.

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