An operation against the Italian ‘Ndrangheta mafia is taking place in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Police in several European countries have arrested more than 100 people as part of an operation to crack down on Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta mafia.
According to German police, arrests took place in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta is one of the wealthiest and most powerful organized crime groups in Europe, estimated to control around 80 percent of Europe’s cocaine trade, and is said to have invested in construction projects in Italy, Belgium, the United States and Germany.
Their reach has also expanded to all parts of the world, making them the largest mafia organization in Italy.
Police forces across the continent have been extensively monitoring their activities and members in recent years.
The suspects are charged with money laundering, tax evasion, drug smuggling and commercial gang fraud, the German police in North Rhine-Westphalia said in a statement.
In Italy, the Carabinieri arrested 108 people suspected of involvement with the group, and in Germany more than 1,000 officers searched dozens of homes, offices and shops in several states.
Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister Michael Ebling called the raids an “effective blow” against organized crime, according to the German news agency dpa.
“Today sends a very clear signal. There is no place for organized crime in Europe and certainly not here with us in Rhineland-Palatinate,” he said.