HAGUE: Police arrested dozens of suspected mobsters in Europe & South America today in a huge international swoop targeting Italy’s notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia clan.
Nearly 90 people including high-ranking members of the powerful organised crime syndicate accused of drug trafficking and money laundering were arrested in coordinated raids in six countries, EU justice agency Eurojust said.
The “unprecedented” crackdown on the group based in Calabria, southern Italy, came just a day after Italian police arrested the new boss of the separate Sicilian mafia.
Hundreds of police took part in Wednesday’s operation, seizing four tonnes of cocaine, 120 kilos of ecstasy and two million euros (dollars) in cash across Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Suriname.
“Today, we send a clear message to organized crime groups across Europe,” Filippo Spiezia, vice president of the EU’s judicial agency Eurojust, told reporters in The Hague.
“They are not the only ones able to operate across borders; so are Europe’s judiciary and law enforcement communities.”
He said the “unprecedented and extraordinary result”, the fruit of a two-year operation, targeted “dangerous members of the ‘Ndrangheta family deeply involved in drug trafficking and money laundering”.
The ‘Ndrangheta – which derives its meaning from the Greek word for heroism — is made up of numerous village and family-based clans in Calabria, the rural, mountainous and under-developed “toe” of Italy’s boot.
Despite intense police attention and frequent arrests, the organization has continued to extend its reach.
It has surpassed Sicily’s Cosa Nostra and the Naples-based Camorra in influence thanks to control of the cocaine trade and is the sole mafia organization to operate on all continents, according to anti-mafia prosecutors.
Officials hailed Wednesday’s operation — dubbed “Operation Pollina” — as a serious blow to the group.
In total 41 people were arrested in Italy, 21 in Germany, 14 in Belgium, five in the Netherlands and two in Luxembourg, with operations still underway, Eurojust said.
Italian police said the sweep targeted the ‘Ndrangheta and its “projections across South America”.
Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho said the operations would affect the ‘Ndrangheta’s drug trafficking operations around the world, including Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil.
Sri Lanka Easter Massacre toll rises to 310
COLOMBO: Police spokesman here told NPTV that Easter bombings death toll has risen to 310, while five hundred got injured.
President of Sri Lanka has given army war-time powers enabling them to arrest suspects. It is pertinent to mention here that the forces used such authority throughout the 26-year-long civil war that ended in 2009.
It is pertinent to mention here that despite the arrest of forty suspects (including the driver of a van allegedly used by suicide bombers), an IED was found inside a vehicle near St. Anthony’s Church, here at Jampettah Road, Kochchikade yesterday (Monday 22nd April). It was disposed of by BDU via controlled explosion.
A relevant piece published earlier:
Sri Lanka bomb attack victims: Pak NA observes 1-minute silence
ISLAMABAD: The members of National Assembly on Monday during the session at the Parliament House observed one-minute silence in memory of the citizens of Sri Lanka who lost their lives in bomb attacks.
The house also offered fateha for the departed souls of those who were martyred in two separate attacks in different parts of Balochistan recently.
Later, Speaker National Assembly announced a six-member panel of chairpersons for conducting the proceedings of the house in the absence of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
The Speaker named MNAs Tahir Sadiq, Jaffer Khan Leghari, Khurram Dastgir, Attaullah, Naveed Qamar and Asad Mehmood as members of the panel who would chair the proceedings of the House when the Speaker and Deputy Speaker would not be present in the house.
The Speaker announced the members for the panel according to section 13(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of National Assembly 2007.
Sri Lanka Govt.. declares state of emergency
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities have ordered a state of emergency to be introduced from midnight Monday following the deadly Easter attacks, the president’s office said.
The special measures are being brought in “to allow the police and the three forces to ensure public security,” the statement said, referring to the army, navy and air force.