updated 11/7/2008 10:51:37 AM ET 2008-11-07T15:51:37

Soon after an alleged mobster woke up in a private Italian clinic following liposuction surgery, he lost more than just weight.

Domenico Magnoli, 27, lost his liberty, too, when police officers disguised as nurses and visitors bearing flowers and chocolates came into his room and arrested him, police said.

"We performed a little operation of our own," quipped Carabinieri paramilitary police Col. Aldo Jacobello.

Magnoli was arrested on a French warrant that had sought his arrest since February 2007 for allegedly trafficking in cocaine, Jacobello told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

"Our Carabinieri were all in plainclothes, with a couple of them disguised as nurses and others as visitors bringing chocolates and a bouquet of flowers," Jacobello said.

Earlier in the day, other officers, dressed as hospital cleaning staff, had entered the La Madonnina clinic in Cosenza, in Calabria, southern Italy, to assess the situation, police said.

Alleged links to drug trafficking
Magnoli had just woken from anesthesia Thursday evening when he was arrested, said Vincenzo Greco, health director of the clinic.

Police allege that Magnoli, born in Cannes, France, has links to the Piromalli crime clan in the 'ndrangheta syndicate.

The 'ndrangheta is a criminal organization based in Calabria that operates drug trafficking rings between South America and Western Europe, and is now more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, prosecutors say.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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