World News

Italian police arrested 61 suspected mafia members

Italian police have arrested a further 61 suspected members of Italy’s most powerful mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta, in a series of raids across seven regions.

They are suspected of crimes including fraud, drug-trafficking, infiltrating government and extorting local farmers.

More than 500 police officers were involved in the operation, which targeted 167 people in total – including dozens currently in prison.

The sting was part of a wider, ongoing operation to crack down on the group.

Last week, more than 100 people were arrested across Europe in what police said was the biggest operation to have ever been carried out against the ‘Ndrangheta.

Ten countries were involved, with assets worth €25m (£22m) seized.

The investigation also revealed important new information about how some of the highest levels of the group operate – including during the Covid pandemic.

One of its alleged bosses, Pasquale Bonavota, was arrested in a cathedral in the northern city of Genoa last month.

Hundreds of other alleged mobsters and corrupt officials have either been imprisoned or are still to be tried over their suspected involvement with the Mancuso family.

It is just one of the 150 families that form part of the ‘Ndrangheta’s criminal network, which has surpassed Cosa Nostra as the most powerful mafia group in the country and operates in more than 40 countries around the world.

Italian and Belgian investigators believe that the crime group smuggled close to 25,000kg of cocaine between October 2019 and January 2022 and funnelled more than €22m from Calabria to Belgium, the Netherlands and South America.

Source: bbcnews

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