Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Police arrest around 90 in anti-mafia raids

MOSCOW-Sputnik: The coordinated operation resulted in the arrest of some 90 suspected mobsters and is the product of two years of intelligence gathering.

Police launched a string of anti-mafia raids, targeting the notorious criminal franchise in Italy, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, according to authorities.

The operation was coordinated by Eurojust, Europe’s cross-border crime fighting agency, and resulted in drugs and cash being seized, in addition to the arrest of around 90 suspected mafia members and their associates.

European law enforcement agencies jointly launched Operation Pollino in 2016, looking to put a dent in the ‘Ndrangheta’s criminal operations.

Specifically, over three tonnes of cocaine and 140kg of ecstasy were seized in the coordinated raids, with several mafia-owned Italian restaurants and ice cream parlours stormed.

The homes of high-ranking mobsters were also targeted, with police successfully recovering millions of euros in laundered money.

The ‘Ndrangheta mafia are considered to be one of the most powerful organized crime syndicates in Italy, involved in drugs and firearms trafficking, prostitution, racketeering and shark loaning.

Federico Cafiero De Raho, Italy’s chief anti-mafia prosecutor, hailed the “extraordinary nature of this operation,” but warned that the organization is “extremely powerful and extremely rich”, so they are far from defeated.

The raids follow Tuesday’s operation against the Sicilian Mafia in Palermo, which resulted in the capture of the syndicate’s newly elected leader, 80-year-old jeweller Settimo Mineo, in addition to 45 other suspects.

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