A suspected Mafia boss and scores of alleged mobsters were arrested during raids Tuesday in eastern Sicily, police said.

Police detained 46 people — including alleged mob boss Vincenzo Santapaola — in Catania, the largest city in eastern Sicily, said Capt. Vincenzo Letizia of the local Carabinieri police force.

Interior Minister Giuliano Amato praised it as a "brilliant operation," saying the government's anti-Mafia campaign was hurting the crime syndicate.

"We are dismantling the clans piece by piece," he said in a statement. "The bosses can no longer fool themselves: We will get them one by one."

Authorities believe Santapaola became head of the Mafia in Catania following the arrest and detention more than a decade ago of his father, longtime top boss Benedetto Santapaola.

The suspects are accused of Mafia association, drug trafficking, extortion and other charges, said Letizia.

Police also seized weapons and drugs, and found a book that listed extortion fees and salaries of the people working for the family, the ANSA news agency said.