Around 90 mafia members arrested in raids across Europe

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Report says the group runs its global operations from a base in southern Italy. "They are not the only ones able to operate across borders; so are Europe's judiciary and law enforcement communities", said Filippo Spiezia, vice president of Eurojust.

"This is not just happening in Italy, it is happening on other countries", Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho warned and said Wednesday's operation was just a "first step".

Eurojust, the European agency that oversees judicial cooperation in criminal investigations, coordinated the global operation codenamed "Pollino" and confirmed that several arrests and seizures had been made in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Belgium.

The worldwide sweep involved police in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium working together against the powerful organised crime syndicate based in southern Italy. Cocaine and ecstasy pills also were seized in the raids.

Eurojust press conference
Law enforcement and judicial officials speak at a press conference organized by Eurojust in The Hague Netherlands on Dec. 5 2018

Italian police hailed the co-operation between European police forces co-ordinated by Eurojust, saying it was an important new crime-fighting tactic that allowed investigators in different countries to share information in real time.

"There is no more room for this type of scum in Italy", he added.

The Calabrian 'Ndrangheta is one of the most powerful Italian mafia organizations in Germany and is understood to be particularly active in drug trafficking and money laundering across Europe.

Speaking in The Hague, Cafiero de Raho said the arrests "are nothing for 'ndrangheta".

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At least 90 suspected Sicilian mafia members are under arrest on suspicion of drug trafficking, money laundering, bribery and violence.

The raids are the culmination of an investigation codenamed Pollino, that started in 2016. His arrest was among the 46 people taken into custody.

In Germany, Wednesday's operation focused on restaurants, offices and apartments, mainly in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria region.

The 'ndrangheta "is the most important organized crime group in the world", said Gen. Alessandro Barbera, who commands the investigative unit of Italy's financial police corps.

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The 'Ndrangheta was also involved in the 2007 Duisburg murders, where six people were killed.

Members of the notorious 'Ndrangheta Italian mafia have been targeted in a simultaneous police sting in Europe.

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