Police arrest around 90 in anti-mafia raids

Police arrest around 90 in anti-mafia raids

Police arrest around 90 in anti-mafia raids

Hundreds of police are understood to have been involved in the operation in Belgium, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.

The group surpassed Sicily's Cosa Nostra and the Naples-based Camorra groups, according to AFP, due to its tight on the control of cocaine trade.

Operation Pollino was co-ordinated by Eurojust, the EU's cross-border justice authority, which described it as a "decisive" intervention against organised crime.

Dutch chief public prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said dozens of raids also netted about 2 million euros (£1.7 million) in criminal proceeds as well as drugs including ecstasy and cocaine. "They are not the only ones able to operate across borders; so are Europe's judiciary and law enforcement communities", said Filippo Spiezia, vice president of Eurojust. On Tuesday, Italian authorities said they had dismantled the rebuilt upper echelons of the Mafia in the Sicilian capital of Palermo by arresting 46 people, including the man presumed to have taken over as provincial kingpin.

Ndrangheta is a mafia organisation from the south of Italy which has extended its influence to many other countries.

He said the "unprecedented and extraordinary result" targeted "dangerous members of the 'Ndrangheta family deeply involved in drug trafficking and money laundering".


"Obviously we have not defeated 'Ndrangheta with this operation - 'Ndrangheta is extremely powerful and extremely rich", he said.

Speaking in The Hague, Cafiero de Raho said the arrests "are nothing for 'ndrangheta".

But he warned that it was "just a first step", saying the arrests were "nothing for the 'Ndrangheta, there are thousands of people who should be arrested and billions that should be seized".

Giovanni Bombardieri, an Italian prosecutor, said that "sophisticated investigative techniques" were used to monitor the crime group's operations and communications, and characterized the violence linked to 'Ndrangheta as tantamount to "carnage". A BKA spokeswoman told the German press agency (dpa) on Wednesday that the investigation focused on the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, but premises in Munich had also been searched.

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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