Police hold 33 Calabrian mafia suspects, seize 40 mn euros

Reggio Calabria (Italy), Jan 26 (IANS/AKI) Italian anti-mafia police on Thursday arrested 33 suspects and impounded assets worth 40 million euros in an operation that targeted the Calabrian mafia’s Piromalli clan.

The suspects face charges of mafia association, attempted murder, drugs trafficking, fraud and money-laundering, police said.

The operation followed a probe that uncovered the Piromalli clan’s grip on the real estate and food and agriculture sectors in the area around Calabrian transhipment hub of Gioa Tauro and drug-trafficking at the port.

The Piromallis had also penetrated the fruit and vegetable distribution chain in the northern city of Milan and controlled businesses exporting olive oil to the US, according to investigators.

The clan laundered revenue by investing in garment companies that supplied well-known French fashion labels, in building firms, in the hotel sector and in a shopping centre at Gioa Tauro, investigators said.

Now Italy’s wealthiest and most powerful crime syndicate, the Calabrian mafia or ‘Ndrangheta operates throughout Italy as well as in northern Europe and overseas.

Its influence and networks extend from Australia to North and South America, where it has links to the main drugs cartels.

–IANS/AKI

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