By Betty Henderson • 04 May 2023 • 15:00
Italian police make an arrest as part of their mafia crackdown.
Photo credit: Polizia di Stato (via Facebook)
Police announced on Wednesday, May 3 that more than 100 people were arrested, with most of the mafia busts taking place in Italy. The suspects face mafia-related charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, and weapons possession.
The operation, dubbed “Operation Eureka,” was a three-year investigation that involved ten countries, including Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, Romania, Brazil, and Panama. The bust was unprecedented in terms of scale and resulted in the seizure of assets worth €25 million.
Italian anti-mafia prosecutors say the operation has revealed new information about how the ‘Ndrangheta operates, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group smuggled nearly 25,000 kilograms of cocaine between October 2019 and January 2022, funnelling more than €22 million from their Calabria base to Belgium, the Netherlands, and South America.
Investigators also discovered a widespread network of restaurants, pizzerias, cafes, and ice cream parlours used as fronts to launder money. The operation’s success was thanks to the use of sophisticated message decryption systems and befriending some of the suspects, leading to their arrest on holiday.
The ‘Ndrangheta is not just another organised crime group, but a highly sophisticated and powerful mafia organisation that operates on a global scale.
The mafia group operates in over 40 countries worldwide and is involved in various organised criminal activities including extortion, rigging public contracts, and more.
Their mafia activities, which include drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, and contract rigging, generate massive profits estimated to be in the billions of euros annually.
The mafia’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances and their willingness to use violence to protect their interests make them a formidable force to be reckoned with.
18 countries are involved in an Interpol police operation to fight ‘Ndrangheta mafia violence.
Through their advanced technology and clever infiltration technique, investigators were able to bring down one of the world’s largest crime and mafia networks.
The operation serves as a reminder that international cooperation is essential in fighting organised crime, and that law enforcement agencies continue to work tirelessly to dismantle criminal networks and bring the perpetrators to justice.
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