Italy: Thousands of police move to crush mafia in round up
Italian police Monday set out to arrest around 300 organised crime suspects in one of the largest mafia round ups in recent history. Alleged members of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta were targeted in Italy during an early-morning operation involving 3000 paramilitary and regular police, AKI reported.
Anti-mafia investigators in Reggio Calabria and Milan say they have uncovered evidence that the 'Ndrangheta has a organisational hierarchy similar to the Sicilian mafia with branches throughout Italy, and abroad taking orders from a command centre, in this case based in Reggio Calabria, the regional capital of Calabria.
The 'Ndrangheta - the name given to the Calbrian mafia -is considered by many investigators to be Italy's most powerful mob organisation, supplanting the Camorra from Naples and Sicily's Cosa Nostra.
Suspects in the south's Calabria and industrial northern Lombardy region were charged with mafia association, drugs and arms trafficking, murder, extortion, usury and other crimes.
During the operation, police seized suspected mafia assets valued at tens-of-millions-of-euros.
The 'Ngrangheta gained international notoriety in August 2007 when six men were shot dead in an ambush outside a pizzeria in Duisburg, Germany as part of a feud between two rival clans.