Italian police have arrested 56 alleged bosses and members of Mafia clans in Sicily as part of an operation against organised crime.

According to Ansa news agency, the arrests, which were carried out by the Carabinieri police on Monday (22 January), targeted the Santa Elisabetta and Sciacca clans and hit 16 Mafia "families".

The clans targeted were based in the province of Agrigento in the south of Sicily, approximately 130km south of Palermo, the region's capital.

Among those arrested was Santino Sabella, the mayor of San Biagio Platani, a small town 40km north of Agrigento. Sabella allegedly colluded with the Mafia to draw up a list of suitable candidates for the local elections in 2014.

He was also accused of exerting pressure on the allocation of council contracts.

The investigation, which also targeted mobsters in the provinces of Caltanissetta, Palermo, Enna, Ragusa and Catania, found that two associations running migrant reception centres in the region were under the control of protection rackets.

Earlier this month, police in Italy and Germany arrested 169 people in a series of anti-mafia raids in the biggest crackdown on organised crime in two decades.

That swoop targeted the Farao-Marincola clan, part of the deadly Calabria-based 'NDrangheta mafia, which was accused of running a crime empire covering vineyards, ports, restaurants and toxic waste disposal.

Officers made just under 160 arrests in and around the town of Ciro in Calabria, southern Italy and seized assets worth around €50m (£44m) across 57 different companies. Two mayors and a provincial president, Nicodemo Parrilla, who was accused of appointing mob-approved officials to public office, were among those taken by detectives.

At the same time, 11 mob-related arrests were made in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.

Suspects in both countries were charged with a range of crimes including attempted murder, money laundering, extortion and holding illegal weapons.