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Joint police operation targets Italian mafia in several European countries

Police officers secure evidence during a raid in Saarlouis, Germany
Police officers secure evidence during a raid in Saarlouis, Germany Copyright Beckerbredel/(c) BeckerBredel
Copyright Beckerbredel/(c) BeckerBredel
By Euronews
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German and Italian police arrest dozens in a massive sweep against Calabrian ’Ndrangheta organised crime syndicate.

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A massive police operation targeting the extensive and powerful Calabrian mafia, the 'Ndrangheta, was launched on Wednesday morning in five European countries, including Italy and Germany.

"It is likely the biggest operation ever carried out in Europe against the Calabrese mafia. More than 1,000 police officers were involved in this morning's raids in Germany, and 1,400 in Italy. All of this was based on a Belgian dossier," said the Belgian federal prosecutor's spokesperson, Eric van Duyse.

Photos released by Italian law enforcement shows drugs, guns, and an unknown quantity of money which was seized in the raids.

More than 150 people were arrested across Italy, Germany, and Spain in the swoop that follows a three-year investigation into the Italian mafia group.

The Belgian federal prosecutor says he believes this includes some "high value" figures.

“Among other things, the suspects are accused of money laundering, gang tax evasion, commercial gang fraud, and narcotics smuggling," said a statement from the state office of criminal investigation in North Rhine-Westphalia. 

Across Europe, police have seized 25 million euros worth of property and real estate.

In recent years, authorities in Europe have been waging a campaign against the organised crime group which is arguably the  richest in the world.

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