One of the Few Female Mafia Clan Leaders, Maria Licciardi, Gets Jail Time

One of the Few Female Mafia Clan Leaders, Maria Licciardi, Gets Jail Time

An Italian court has sentenced Camorra boss Maria Licciardi to nearly 13 years in prison, making her one of the few women to lead a mafia clan.

Known as “the little one” due to her small stature, Licciardi was arrested in August 2021 while attempting to fly to Spain to visit her daughter.

She did not resist when the officers blocked her and served the warrant signed by the Naples prosecutors’ office.

The Italian Interior minister praised the arrest as an example of the determination of the judiciary and police forces to counter the Camorra organizations that control extensive territories.

Licciardi was found guilty of leading a Camorra clan founded by her brothers and was handed a 12-year and eight-month sentence.

She took over the clan in the Naples suburb of Secondigliano following the death of her brother Gennaro in prison in 1994.

Italy’s Interior ministry described her as the “strategic head” of a group of families known as the “Secondigliano Alliance,” which is said to control a significant part of organized crime in Naples.

In 2001, she was placed among Italy’s top 30 wanted fugitives. She had previously served eight years in jail.


Licciardi was the inspiration for the chain-smoking female mob boss in the TV series “Gomorrah,” according to journalist Roberto Saviano,

who wrote the book about the Naples mafia on which it was based.

Naples has been the traditional base for the mafia-type Camorra syndicate, an umbrella for many different clans.

In 2017, police in Italy, Spain, and Germany arrested 32 people suspected of trafficking drugs and laundering money in a European operation against the Camorra clan.

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