Police Target ‘Ndrangheta Italian Mafia in Raids Across Europe

Police Target ‘Ndrangheta Italian Mafia in Raids Across Europe

Wednesday's operation came a day after Italian police arrested the suspected new head of the Sicilian Mafia and 45 other alleged gangsters, dealing a major blow to the mob as it tried to rebuild after years of setbacks.

The raids were the culmination of an investigation codenamed Pollino that was launched in 2016 against the 'Ndrangheta criminal group on allegations of cocaine trafficking, money laundering, bribery and violence, said Eurojust, the European agency that fights cross-border organized crime, which coordinated the operation.

Masked police stand in an ice parlor in Duisburg, western Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 as authorities conduct coordinated raids in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands in a crackdown on the Italian mafia.

The Ndrangheta mafia operates from Calabria in southern Italy and is one of the world's largest crime syndicates, controlling as much as 80 percent of Europe's cocaine trade. More than three tons of cocaine and about 300 pounds of ecstasy were seized.

He said the "unprecedented and extraordinary result", the fruit of a two-year operation, targeted "dangerous members of the 'Ndrangheta family deeply involved in drug trafficking and money laundering".

Italian police said there have been at least 90 arrests, the BBC reported, but the operation is still ongoing elsewhere.

Investigators said that the 'Ndrangheta had...

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Police arrested dozens of people in Europe and South America in a "decisive hit" against Italy's notorious 'Ndrangheta mafia group, officials said Thursday.

Some 2 million euros (2.3 million dollars) in criminal assets was seized, Eurojust Vice-President Filippo Spiezia said in The Hague. Most raids took place in the western state of North Rhine Westphalia, but also in the south, in Bavaria.

The Mafia group hails from Calabria, the region that forms the tip of Italy's boot, and has made substantial inroads in European countries.

In January police arrested almost 170 people, including mayors and businessmen and local administrators, in similar raids across Italy and Germany.

Jeweller Mineo, 80, was detained along with at least 45 others just before he was due to be appointed official heir to notorious mafia boss Toto Riina who died in prison previous year.

Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho said the operations would affect the 'Ndrangheta's drug trafficking operations around the world, including in Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Dutch outlet NOS said that the 'Ndrangheta is known to operate its drug smuggling through the country's vibrant flower-trading industry.

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