Anybody who thinks tales of mafia standover tactics are a crock may just be right... and wrong.
Italy's anti-mafia police unit this week seized a crocodile from an alleged Naples mob boss, claiming he had used it to intimidate businessmen into paying him protection money.
Officers searching the alleged mafioso's premises found the intimidating beast living on his terrace, said police official Sergio Di Mauro, reported AP.
The 1.7 metre animal weighs 40 kilograms and eats live rabbits and mice, but presumably not so many that it failed to look hungry when the mob boss confronted his extortion victims, threatening to set the animal on them if they did not pay up or do the favours requested.
The crocodile, a caiman, which is a species native to Central and South America, has been placed under the care of Italy's forestry service.
Folklaw thinks it is probably much safer there than under the care of Italy's fashion industry.