A MAFIA crime family infiltrated filming of Catherine Zeta-Jones's latest film to attempt to extort money, police said yesterday.
The Swansea-born star unknowingly mingled with members of the violent Italian secret society while filming.
After attempts were made to extort money from the production team working on Ocean's 12, police swooped on 23 suspected Mafia members.
The arrests took place near the Sicilian city of Trapani close to where the filming of scenes for Ocean's 12, co-starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, has been taking place.
Among those now behind bars are members of a well- known family clan dominant on the idyllic stretch of Sicilian coast where the movie is set.
Guiseppe Linares, a police commander in Trapani, said yesterday, "Three members of the Castellammare del Golfo Mafia family made rounds of the set all day and night.
"They were keeping close to the set and to actors in the hotel where they were sleeping."
Security on the set has now been stepped up considerably, though the stars have now finished filming in the area.
It was not clear yesterday whether any money has been extorted from film producers.
Scenes for Ocean's 12, a follow up to the 2001 crime film Ocean's 11, were filmed in Rome as well as Sicily, though much of the Italian filming has now finished.
Last month, Catherine Zeta- Jones and Brad Pitt were pictured sharing an ice-cream together in Rome.