According to German public prosecutors and police in both nations, more than 100 persons were detained on Wednesday in a crackdown on the Italian ‘Ndrangheta organized criminal organisation.
The suspects are suspected of money laundering, criminal tax evasion, fraud and drug smuggling, mafia-style criminal organization, and firearm ownership and trafficking.
According to German officials, the arrests were made as part of a joint investigation by Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
The ‘Ndrangheta, which has its roots in the southern region of Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, has surpassed Cosa Nostra as the most powerful mafia group in the country, and one of the largest criminal networks in the world.
Italy’s Carabinieri police carried out 108 arrests across the country in an investigation based in the southern city of Reggio Calabria, they said in a statement. A further 15 people were detained on the orders of police in the northwestern port of Genoa.
German police also arrested dozens of suspects in early morning raids.
In Belgium, police raided more than 20 addresses, prosecutors said, adding they would provide more details at a news conference later in the morning.