Italian judge, police arrested for money laundering

Italy's financial police on Thursday arrested 34 people, including a judge and two police officers, accused of money-laundering, trafficking gold and possessing illegal arms.

The sting in Palermo, Sicily -- led by an undercover policeman who infiltrated the gang -- uncovered a money-laundering ring with links to the Mafia operating throughout Italy and abroad.

Officers arrested 22 people and put another 12 under house arrest, and seized over 11 million euros ($14 million) in counterfeit currency, including US dollars, North Korean won and Swiss francs, the police said in a statement.

Lawyer Gianni Lapis, who is linked to the Ciancimino family in the police report, was the suspected ringleader, according to Italian media reports. Vito Ciancimino, former mayor of Palermo, was convicted of involvement in several Mafia-linked crimes in the 1990s.

Judge Franco Angelo Maria De Bernardi was accused of running the ring from his office, the reports said, while two police officers in Rome helped manage cross-country operations, from Milan to Florence, Naples and Catania.