Police Arrest Around 90 in Coordinated European Anti-Mafia Raids

Mafia raids across Europe target 'Ndrangheta group

Police launch coordinated raids on Italian mafia in Europe

"Today, supported by a coordination center at Eurojust, judicial and law enforcement authorities from the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Belgium are now executing arrests and seizures against a 'Ndrangheta criminal group involved in cocaine trafficking, money laundering, bribery and violence", Wednesday's statement read.

Police launched a string of anti-mafia raids on Wednesday, targeting the notorious criminal franchise in Italy, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, according to authorities. Cocaine and ecstasy pills also were seized in the raids.

In Germany, the raids - which are part of Operation Pollino - are focused on the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the mafia has traditionally had a large presence.

The 'Ndrangheta mafia are considered to be one of the most powerful organized crime syndicates in Italy, involved in drugs and firearms trafficking, prostitution, racketeering and shark loaning.

Federico Cafiero De Raho, Italian anti-mafia and anti-terrorism national prosecutor, said the arrests "are nothing for 'ndrangheta".

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Eurojust said Italian authorities arrested 41 suspects mainly in the southern regions of Calabria and Catanzaro.

"This shows that worldwide crime can be tackled well if we work well together", said Eurojust Vice-President Filippo Spiezia.

In Germany, federal police said there had been multiple arrests in the early morning raids on premises linked to the southern Italy-based organized crime group.

But some express caution and said the mafia will continue to pose threat as the group still has resources and is operating across the world.

Two people were also arrested in Luxembourg, and one in Suriname.

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Officials said by midday of the operation, nearly 4,000 kilos of cocaine and hundreds of kilos of other drugs were seized.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who is Italian, sent "congratulations" to the police forces involved, adding: "Europe fights 'Ndrangheta criminal groups".

A 2012 police report showed the Ndrangheta could have as many as a hundred active members in this country.

Wednesday's operation came a day after Italian police arrested new Cosa Nostra boss Settimino Mineo and dozens of other suspects in Sicily in a major swoop.

Mineo, 80, was detained along with at least 45 others just before he was due to be appointed official heir to notorious mafia boss Toto Riina who died in prison a year ago.

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