Police roust Naples' so-called 'Queen of the Clan' from cupboard hide-out

NAPLES, Italy - Police slid open a secret panel in the kitchen of a Naples crime family Saturday, uncovering the Camorra mob's so-called ''Queen of the Clan'' in her hide-out behind a kitchen cupboard.

The kitchen-cabinet raid ended a 10-month stakeout for Erminia ''Celeste'' Giuliano.

Giuliano, 44, asked that she be allowed to visit a hairdresser before heading to jail, Italian media reported, quoting police.

The Camorra is Naples' version of Sicily's Mafia. Giuliano had risen to the top of her family's clan, propelled largely by the arrests of all her brothers - Guglielmo, Carmine ''The Lion,'' and ''Little Luigi.''

Considered one of the 30 most dangerous fugitives in the country, she allegedly reorganized the ranks and daily operations of the clan after her brothers' capture.

The family was based in the Forcella quarter of Naples. Police raided the home of one of Giuliano's daughters there shortly after midnight, catching the matriarch in a secret room accessed through a kitchen cupboard and a sliding wall panel.

Police arrested her on charges of criminal association.

Interior Minister Enzo Bianco called the arrest ''a lovely Christmas gift for the security of Naples.''


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