Posted by SlavEU | Европа, новости

German police arrested dozens of people across the country on Wednesday in an investigation of the Italian ‘Ndrangheta organized crime group, German public prosecutors and state police said. 

The ‘Ndrangheta is based in the southern region of Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, and has surpassed Cosa Nostra to become the most powerful mafia group in the country – and one of the largest crime networks in the world. 

The crackdown was part of a coordinated probe by investigators in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain as well as Europol and Eurojust, they said. 

The suspects are accused of money laundering, criminal tax evasion, fraud and smuggling of drugs, they added. 

State police in Bavaria said the arrests were the result of more than three years of an investigation dubbed “Operation Eureka.” 

It said that Italian and Belgian investigators believe that the crime group smuggled close to 25 tons of cocaine between October 2019 and January 2022 and funneled more than $24.24 million from Calabria to Belgium, the Netherlands and South America. 

Among those arrested were four people in Bavaria, 15 in North Rhine-Westphalia, and 10 in the southwestern German state of Rhineland Palatinate, and police seized potential evidence at dozens of locations including homes and offices. 

Two suspects who were under investigation in the western state of Saarland, were arrested in Italy. Police did not identify them, saying only that one was 47 years old and the other 25. 

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