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More than 300 arrests in one of Italy’s most important anti-mafia operations in decades

December 20, 2019

ROME, Dec. 20 (Reuters / EP) –

The Italian Police on Thursday arrested some 334 people in one of the most important operations of recent years against the 'Ndrangheta, the mafia organization that has become one of the most powerful criminal corporations in the world, ahead of even the famous Cosa Nostra.

The authorities have explained that arrests have been carried out not only in Italy, but also in other cities in Germany, Switzerland and Bulgaria. Detainees face crimes of membership in mafia organization, murder, usury, fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri explained that the criminal organization did not have any sophisticated money laundering mechanism, because they are sure that it has received help and collaboration from “politicians, lawyers, accountants, judicial secretaries, and other public officials.”

So much so, that among those arrested is a former member of Silvio Berlusconi's party, Forza Italia, as well as the mayor, a coastal city of Calabria and a senior Carabinieri official.

Gratteri has stressed that this operation is the largest carried out in Italy against the mafia after that of Sicily in 1984, in which 450 members of the Cosa Nostra were tried in Palermo, whose criminal activities fell dramatically in the next three decades , which was used by the 'Ndrangheta to expand.

Police investigations place the cusp of the organization in Calabria, one of the poorest regions in southern Europe and the main port of entry for cocaine, to which dozens of smaller clans spread throughout the country submit.