policija italija.jpg
Photograph: poliziadistato.it

An investigation into bribery at Italy's state-owned road construction agency ANAS expanded on Friday, as police issued another 19 arrest warrants against bureaucrats, road contractors and one lawyer.

It was not clear whether detained suspects were placed in prison or under house arrest, based on a statement released Friday by Guardia di Finanza, Italy's financial crime police.

The tax police also said it seized 800,000 euros (890,000 dollars) worth of corruption proceeds after conducting searches of more than 50 premises, and placed a national lawmaker under investigation.

The ANSA news agency identified the politician as Marco Martinelli from the opposition Forza Italia party of former premier Silvio Berlusconi. Martinelli is a member of the lower house committee on public works.

Friday's arrests are a follow up to an October operation in which a former junior minister for transport, five ANAS employees, a lawyer and three road-building entrepreneurs were either jailed or put under house arrest.

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