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#1 2023-05-03 23:48:03

Registered: 2023-01-04
Posts: 676

132 mafia members arrested after investigation by NE, GER & Italy

132 members of one of the most powerful criminal networks in the world were apprehended during an action day carried out by ten nations. Authorities from Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Romania, Brazil, and Panama conducted raids at various locations and seized a number of businesses early on May 3. On the ground, during the action day, over 2,770 officers were involved.

This global operation against the 'Ndrangheta, which is now the biggest hit against the Italian poly-criminal syndicate to date, was supported by Eurojust and Europol. Along with routine money laundering, bribery, and violence, the mafia-style organization is in charge of a large portion of the cocaine trade in Europe.
The criminal network under investigation was led by several powerful ‘Ndrangheta families based mainly in the town of San Luca, which is in the Italian province of Reggio Calabria. Some of these families have been involved in decades-long clan violence known as the San Luca feud, culminating in massive shootings in Italy and abroad, such as the Duisburg massacre in Germany in 2007.

Members of the criminal network were engaged in a criminal conspiracy not only by being part of a mafia-style organization, but also by being responsible for drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, illegal firearms possession, money laundering, fraudulent asset registration, tax fraud, and tax evasion, as well as the aiding and abetting of fugitives (who have since been arrested). Two of these fugitives had been on the EU Most Wanted list. 

The staggering list of criminal activities
The Italian criminal network was mainly devoted to international drug trafficking from South America to Europe, as well as Australia. Authorities uncovered that the network was working in partnership with the Colombian organized crime group ‘Gulf Clan’ and an Albanian-speaking crime group operating in Ecuador and multiple European Countries. Furthermore, the ‘Ndrangheta clans were involved in international firearms trafficking from Pakistan to South America, providing weapons to the notorious criminal group PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital) in exchange for cocaine shipments. Investigators tracked the flow of money in an extensive global money laundering system, with massive investments in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. The criminal group was investing its profits in real estate, restaurants, hotels, car wash companies, supermarkets, and other commercial activities. In order to pay for cocaine or to transfer illicit assets, the criminals often relied on facilitators using the hawala system.


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