Italy's 'Ndrangheta mafia hit by huge worldwide sweep

At least 84 people suspected of belonging to the notorious 'Ndrangheta mafia were arrested in raids in several European and Latin American countries Italian police said. T

Mafia raids across Europe target 'Ndrangheta group

German federal police said in a statement on December 5 that there had been multiple arrests in the early morning raids on premises linked to the 'Ndrangheta, a southern Italy-based organized crime group.

He said over 3,000 kilogrammes of cocaine was seized in the Netherlands along with 140 kilogrammes of ecstasy pills and 2 million Euros in cash.

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.

"This shows that global crime can be tackled well if we work well together", said Eurojust Vice-President Filippo Spiezia.

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"They are not the only ones able to operate across borders - so are Europe's judiciary and law enforcement communities."

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. BKA figures show that in 2017, 14 organized crime cases were filed against members of Italian mafia groups, half of which were attributed to '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".

"Obviously we have not defeated 'Ndrangheta with this operation - 'Ndrangheta is extremely powerful and extremely rich", he said. It's the only mafia group that operates on all continents, prosecutors say.

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The 'Ndrangheta group comes from Calabria in the south of Italy, it is one of three mafia crime groups, which includes the Camorra, and the Cosa Nostra, commonly known as the Mafia.

The operation comes a day after Italian police arrested the supposed new "godfather" of the Sicilian Mafia, Settimo Mineo, in a dawn raid.

Prime Minister Matteo Salvini called the arrests "extraordinary" and tweeted that the police had "dismantled the new "dome" of the Cosa Nostra".

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

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

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