ROME -- Authorities in southern Italy say two women have been arrested in an operation against suspected mobsters -- a development that reflects the increasing role of women in running the mob's affairs.

Police say those named in the 24 arrest warrants are suspected members or associates of the Pesce crime clan of the 'ndrangheta syndicate near the Calabrian town of Rosarno.

Those arrested Tuesday include Carmelina Capria, wife of imprisoned clan boss Antonio Pesce. Authorities contend she kept the clan's books on income from extortion and drug and arms trafficking.

Also arrested was Maria Grazia Pesce, wife of fugitive boss Roberto Matalone. Authorities suspect she helped transmit messages between jailed 'ndrangheta members and mobsters on the outside.