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Italy arrests mayor for allegedly aiding illegal immigration

MILAN (AP) – The mayor of a small town in southern Italy who has become a symbol for welcoming migrants to Italy has been placed under house arrest for allegedly aiding illegal immigration.

Italian financial police arrested the mayor of the Calabrian town of Riace, Domenico Lucano, early Tuesday as part of an investigation that news agency ANSA reports was spurred by the allocation of government funds for refugees and asylum-seekers. SKY TG24 said accusations include organizing marriages of convenience so immigrants could remain in Italy legally.

Lucano gained fame for welcoming migrants, hundreds of whom have settled in the small town of fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. TV presenter Gad Lerner called the arrest “a slap in the face to those who practice the duty of welcoming.”

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