More than 80 ar­rested in Mafia raids in Europe, South Amer­ica

Swazi Observer - - NEWS -

BERLIN - More than 80 peo­ple with sus­pected links to the 'Ndrangheta Mafia - con­sid­ered one of the world's largest or­gan­ised crime groups - have been ar­rested dur­ing raids in six Euro­pean coun­tries and in the South Amer­i­can coun­try of Suri­name.

Some 140 kilo­grams of ec­stasy pills and 3 000-4 000 ki­los of co­caine were seized dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, Dutch pros­e­cu­tor Fred Wester­beke said at a press con­fer­ence in The Hague on Wed­nes­day. Euro­just a Euro­pean ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion body - said that among those re­ported ar­rested were "high-rank­ing mem­bers of the Mafia net­work." Au­thor­i­ties in the Nether­lands, Italy, Ger­many, Bel­gium and Lux­em­bourg worked to­gether on the op­er­a­tion with the code name ‘Pollino,’ co­or­di­nated by the Euro­just from 2016, as­sisted by Europol. In the big­gest op­er­a­tion of its kind to date in Europe, raids took place early Wed­nes­day, span­ning lo­ca­tions in those five coun­tries and Suri­name. Ger­many's Fed­eral Crim­i­nal Po­lice Of­fice (BKA) also said raids had been car­ried out on the Span­ish is­land of Mal­lorca. Some two mil­lion eu­ros (2.3 mil­lion dol­lars) in crim­i­nal as­sets was seized, Euro­just Vice-Pres­i­dent Filippo Spiezia said in The Hague. The Ndrangheta con­trols a net­work of restau­rants and ice cream par­lours through­out sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries, which it uses to laun­der money and traf­fic drugs, ac­cord­ing to Wester­beke. The Mafia group hails from Cal­abria, the re­gion that forms the tip of Italy's boot, and has made sub­stan­tial in­roads in Euro­pean coun­tries. It is con­sid­ered Europe's lead­ing smug­gler of co­caine. DPA

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