Roman Police Bust Corrupt Gladiator Ring at the Colosseum

Posted Aug 12th 2011 09:15 AM

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Roman Police Bust Corrupt Gladiator Ring at the Coliseum

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Wooden swords were flying outside the Roman Colosseum as police dressed in ancient garb had it out with a group of corrupt gladiators.

The officers were part of an undercover sting meant to weed out cheating centurions.

Men dressed in their gladiator finery are a common site at the Roman landmark; posing for pictures with tourists and encouraging them to go on guided tours. A practice for which they get a kickback.

But, it's not all smiles and tacky souvenirs – there is a dark side to the centurion brotherhood. There have been allegations that the business is a "closed shop," and outsiders wanting in are rigorously, sometimes brutally, excluded, reports The Guardian.

There have also been complaints of gladiators tricking people into paying for tours that never happen, and then threaten those who demanded their money back. Or, some will charge outrageous fees for photo ops, while others hold cameras hostage until a fee is paid.

So, Roman policemen dressed as gladiators went out to patrol the streets of Rome. They were reportedly approached and threatened by three other gladiators, who were then arrested. When a skirmish ensued, more undercover officers, dressed as street cleaners, came to the rescue.

According to the Daily Mail, 20 faux gladiators and tour guides were arrested as part of the operation. But, The Guardian quotes that number at 30.


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ajrsls1

This practice happened to my daughter and her friend when they were at the Colossem 5 years ago. It cost them 4 Euro EACH to get their camera back. These men also stalked and heckled young women. I hope this helps to end the disturbing and blatant preying on of tourists in Rome. One wonders why it took so long to come to the attention of the police?

August 14 2011 at 9:31 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
codestud3

please we have hustlers in every major city there is tourism buck to be made. ya never been to nyc?

August 14 2011 at 7:03 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
fourinitalia

I lived in Italy for a year and went to the Colosseum three times - and was never hassled by a gladiator. They stood in front of the building, and if people wanted photos, they posed. Just like the sphinxes, and the "marble" statues - it was a very passive activity. If you wanted to take a tour, there were established tour companies close to all the major tourist areas, including he Vatican and the Colosseum.

We took three tours of the Vatican and learned a lot each time. Apparently, these guys are bad news - but they're very easy to avoid. And gladiators behaving badly shouldn't sour anyone on the splendors of Italy - caveat emptor was after all, a Latin phrase.

For funny stories about living in Italy, see 4initalia on wordpress.

August 13 2011 at 11:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ewilkes280

Bad for tourism.

August 13 2011 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mhb5150

I had to pay 7 euro after thay took a picture with my camera. Boy did I learn a fast quick lesson.

August 13 2011 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kitty Gitulli

I HOPE THESE GUYS GET HUNG AND SENT TO THE LIONS...WE WERE IN ITALY A FEW YEARS AGO AND THEY DID THE SAME THING TO US...THEY FOLLOWED US TILL WE PAID...AND THEY STUNK WHEN WE TOOK PICTURES WITH THEM...THIS IS BAD FOR TOURISM IN ITALY...WHAT A SCAM..GO GET THEM AND TAKE A LION WITH YOU TO EAT THEM UP!

August 12 2011 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wave11161

WHERE IS RUSSELL CROWE WHEN YOU NEED HIM?? YOU WANT A FIGHT? I'LL SHOW YOU A FIGHT!!

August 12 2011 at 8:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wave11161's comment
Raymond

"Unleash Hell!"

August 14 2011 at 2:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KING JEREMY !

Not sure if thats what ruined it .

August 12 2011 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frankiezyx

Would you like to weed all those misused commas and semi-colons out of your text BEFORE you publish it? I am happy to help with your editing; just let me know.

August 12 2011 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dean !

corners.....dammit, I meant to include CORNERS !!!!!! I RUINED IT !!!!!!! I'M RUINED !!!!!

August 12 2011 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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