Around 90 mafia suspects held in global sweep

Policemen raid an ice cafe in Duisburg western Germany on December 5

Policemen raid an ice cafe in Duisburg western Germany on December 5

Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) also said raids had been carried out on the Spanish island of Mallorca. "They are not the only ones able to operate across borders", said Filippo Spiezia, vice president of Eurojust.

Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho said the operations would affect the 'Ndrangheta's drug trafficking operations around the world, including Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil.

Italian police and Eurojust, the European agency that oversees judicial cooperation in crime investigations, said those arrested were suspected of drug trafficking, money laundering, bribery and violence.

Masked police stand in an ice parlor in Duisburg, western Germanty, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 as authorities conduct raids in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands in a crackdown on the Italian mafia.

He said over 3,000 kilogrammes of cocaine was seized in the Netherlands along with 140 kilogrammes of ecstasy pills and 2 million Euros in cash. He was arrested together with with 45 other top mobsters, Italian authorities said Tuesday.

Ndrangheta is a mafia organisation from the south of Italy which has extended its influence to many other countries.

While the Sicilian Mafia was made famous in films and television, 'Ndrangheta is thought to control as much as 80% of Europe's cocaine trade, and with some 6,000 members, is a substantial and far-spread force in European crime.




"They are invisible", Cafiero de Raho added.

The raids are the culmination of an investigation codenamed Pollino, that started in 2016.

"One person was also arrested in Suriname, " a Dutch official said.

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.

Five suspects were arrested in the Netherlands, where prosecutors got the ball rolling for the investigation in 2014 with probes into two Italian restaurants, and more suspects were detained just over the border in Belgium.

In August 2007, 'Ndrangheta caused an global uproar when six people were shot in front of an Italian restaurant in the German city of Duisburg.

He said that members of the mafia establish sophisticated networks with links to legitimate businesses and institutions in order to hide their criminal activity.

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