Anonima Sequestri, the kidnapping arm of southern Italy's 'Ndràngheta crime syndicate, amassed a fortune in the 60s and 70s by holding prominent civilians hostage and demanding ransom from their families. More than 40 years later, the gang's apparently trying out a different approach: kidnapping the dead.
According to the Washington Post, Italian State Police say they've foiled Anonima Sequestri's plot to steal auto legend Enzo Ferrari's casket from a cemetery in Modena on Tuesday. According to authorities, the gang was planning to hold Ferrari's dead body as ransom to extort his family.
The syndicate had reportedly checked out the burial site in Modena—the city Ferrari where was born and launched his auto empire—and had planned to escape with his casket into the nearby Apennine Mountains. Before they could pull off the heist, though, Italian law enforcement caught onto the plan and dispatched roughly 300 cops who arrested 34 suspected thieves—all of whom, authorities say, belong to Italy's criminal underworld.
Ferrari began his career by racing cars in the early 1900s, and then engineering them in the late 30s. He later went on to run an auto empire worth millions by the 70s. Before he died in 1988, he designed countless models, earning the adoration of pretty much anybody with a shit-ton of money and a thirst for speed—from Thai royalists to popular self-help gurus.
In his autobiography, he wrote that he had "no interest in life outside racing cars" and never took a vacation from building them, sort of like that 94-year-old woman who's been working at McDonald's for 44 years.
"I build racing cars with the same feverish pleasure with which drug addicts sniff cocaine," Ferrari once said.
With the plot foiled, Ferrari and his family can rest easy knowing that his tomb is safe—for now.
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