A massive operation involving 300 officers of the military police arrested 34 members of a criminal gang involved in drug and arms trafficking in Sardinia and northern Italy on 28 March.

The gang had also been plotting to steal the corpse of Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the famous luxury car company to blackmail his family for the body's return.

The plan was devised in November 2015 and the gang made repeated trips to the cemetery in the central Italian town of Modena, where Ferrari was buried after his death in 1988. The authorities arrested the gang as it was about to enact the plan.

"The gang had planned it all down to the smallest details" explained Colonel Saverio Ceglie who was heading the operation, at a press conference. "The plan had been in place for years but did not succeed due to our intervention", he said, quoted by Italian news agency Ansa. The authorities had warned the Ferrari family, who were aware of everything.

The investigation into the gang's criminal activities, which had been going on for almost a decade, began when the gang kidnapped local bank director Giampaolo Cosseddu and his wife Pietrina Secce in October 2007.

In the course of the police operation, the authorities confiscated large quantities of cocaine and weed, as well as firearms. Drug and arms trafficking were the gang's two main revenue streams.