Camera phones have been banned from Italian polling stations amid fears over vote-rigging by the Mafia, according to press reports.

The government crackdown follows previous cases of the Mafia tempting Italians to vote for a particular politician ? and telling them to prove who they voted for by photographing their ballot paper.

In previous elections the Mafia paid voters the equivalent of £35 for a picture of their ballot paper, according The Scotsman newspaper.

Voters who fail to hand over their phone at polling stations face a £700 fine or six months in jail, reports the newspaper?s Nick Pisa in Rome.

In one such case a man in north-east Italy was reportedly arrested after being caught taking a picture during the elections, which started yesterday.

?Police were called after the noise of a camera click was heard from his booth,? adds the article. ?The mobile phone was confiscated.?

For the full story visit The Scotsman