Europol says 32 people have been arrested in Spain for alleged ties to Italy’s ‘ndrangheta mafia. They stand accused of large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering.
Spain arrested 32 members of an organised crime group linked to the Italian ’ndrangheta mafia for alleged ties to large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering, Europol said Tuesday.
The criminal gang, whose members are described as very violent, is believed to be linked to cocaine and cannabis trafficking between Spain and Italy. They are believed to have transported drugs hidden in speedboats and reinvested the criminal profits in Spanish real estate, the police agency said.
Those arrested included Italians, Albanians and Hungarians.
The authorities also seized 18 kilos of amphetamine, 4.5 kilos of cocaine, €300,000 in cash, firearms and 600 cannabis plants.
The operation took place on two different days last week on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. It involved 500 law enforcement officers from the Spanish Civil Guard, Italy’s Carabinieri and Guardia de Finanza; the European bodies for police and justice, Europol and Eurojust also supported them.
Some 40 properties were also searched in the coastal Spanish cities of Barcelona, Málaga and Tenerife.
Italian prosecutors consider the Calabrian ‘ndrangheta mafia to be the most important criminal organisation in the Western world. Prosecutors say some of those arrested are linked to a number of murders in Italy.
A maxi trial of ‘ndrangheta members is currently underway, and could last up to two years.