Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

90 arrested in global operation against Italian mafia

90 arrested in global operation against Italian mafia

Almost 90 people including high-ranking members of the powerful organised crime syndicate accused of drug trafficking and money laundering were arrested in coordinated raids in six countries, European Union justice agency Eurojust said.

The Wednesday morning raids took place in Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands in connection with the roundup.

It has surpassed Sicily's Cosa Nostra and the Naples-based Camorra in influence thanks to control of the cocaine trade and is the sole mafia organisation to operate on all continents, according to anti-mafia prosecutors.

Report says the group runs its global operations from a base in southern Italy.

"Today we send a clear message to organized crime groups across Europe", said Filippo Spiezia, vice president of Eurojust, the European Union prosecution agency that coordinated the raids. "They are not the only ones able to operate across borders", said Filippo Spiezia, vice president of Eurojust.

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A spokesman for the Dutch public prosecution department refused to give any more information, the AD said, adding that the raids in the Netherlands involve "dozens" of locations. He was arrested together with with 45 other top mobsters, Italian authorities said Tuesday.

"There is no more room for this type of scum in Italy".

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".

Speaking in The Hague, De Raho said the arrests "are nothing for 'Ndrangheta".

In Germany, the raids are focused on the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the mafia has traditionally had a large presence.

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The raids are the culmination of an investigation codenamed Pollino, that started in 2016.

The vast anti-mafia operation was carried out by Italy's anti-mafia and anti-terrorism force in collaboration with German, Belgian and Dutch authorities, it said.

Five suspects were arrested in the Netherlands, where prosecutors got the ball rolling for the investigation in 2014 with probes into two Italian restaurants, and more were detained just over the border in Belgium.

He said that members of the mafia establish sophisticated networks with links to legitimate businesses and institutions in order to hide their criminal activity.

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