By Gangsters Inc. Editors
The Calabrian Mafia was dealt a big blow this week. 132 individuals linked to the ‘Ndrangheta were arrested in the early hours of Wednesday in Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Romania, Brazil and Panama. Multiple locations were raided and several companies were seized.
Operation Eureka targeted several powerful ‘Ndrangheta families based mainly in the town of San Luca, located in the Italian province of Reggio Calabria. Some of these families have been involved in decades-long clan violence known as the San Luca feud, culminating in massive shootings in Italy and abroad, such as the Duisburg massacre in Germany in 2007.
Members engaged in drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, illegal firearms possession, money laundering, fraudulent asset registration, tax fraud and tax evasion, as well as the aiding and abetting of fugitives (who have since been arrested). Two of these fugitives had been on the EU Most Wanted list.
Drugs from South America, guns from Pakistan, money laundered everywhere
The Italian criminal network was mainly devoted to international drug trafficking from South America to Europe, as well as Australia. Authorities uncovered that the network was working in partnership with the Colombian Gulf Cartel and a crime group operating in Ecuador and multiple European countries.
Furthermore, the ‘Ndrangheta clans were involved in international firearms trafficking from Pakistan to South America, providing weapons to the notorious criminal group PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital) in exchange for cocaine shipments.
- READ: “I was just here to pray the rosary” - Fugitive ‘Ndrangheta boss Pasquale Bonavota arrested at cathedral
Investigators tracked the flow of money in an extensive global money laundering system, with massive investments in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The group invested its profits in real estate, restaurants, hotels, car wash companies, supermarkets, and other commercial activities. In order to pay for cocaine or to transfer illicit assets, the criminals often relied on facilitators using the hawala system.
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