Italy’s financial crimes police says $193m in assets were seized after ‘years of intense investigative work’.
Italian and Swiss authorities have arrested 75 people in a joint raid against Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta Mafia.
The operation was the result of “years of intense investigative work” between Italian and Swiss prosecutors and police, said a statement from Italy’s financial crimes police, the Guardia di Finanza, on Tuesday.
Those arrested were accused of several crimes, including Mafia association, international drug trafficking, money laundering, false registration of assets, and corruption.
Authorities also seized assets worth 169 million euros ($193m) and placed under investigation – but did not arrest – a further 83 suspects, the Guardia di Finanza said.
Only one person was arrested in Switzerland, where several suspects’ homes and businesses were searched, according to a separate statement from the Swiss government.
The Swiss prosecutor’s office said police seized weapons and ammunition in raids in the cantons of Argovia, Solothurn, Zug and Ticino.
“If anybody still thinks that the ‘Ndrangheta is a purely Italian problem, this operation shows the opposite,” said the head of the Italian parliament’s anti-mafia commission, Nicola Morra.
The Guardia di Finanza said the sting targeted members of ‘Ndrangheta families based on the western coast of Calabria, between the towns of Lamezia Terme and Vibo Valentia.
Calabria, the impoverished southern region that forms the tip of Italy’s boot, is the historical home of the ‘Ndrangheta, one of the world’s most powerful organised-crime groups.
The ‘Ndrangheta has long branched out from Calabria, making substantial inroads in Europe, North America and Australia, and is considered the leading smuggler of cocaine into Europe.
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