Germany, Italy clamp down on mob with raids, arrests

BERLIN — Police arrested suspects and raided homes early Wednesday, May 3, 2023, across Germany and Italy in a massive effort to clamp down on members of the Italian ‘ndrangheta organized crime syndicate.

In Germany, more than 1,000 officers searched dozens of homes, offices and stores in the states of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia, prosecutors said in a joint statement.

In Italy, carabinieri police backed by helicopters served arrest warrants on 108 people who were accused, among other things, of mafia association; possession, production, and trafficking of drugs and weapons; and money laundering.

European authorities have been waging a campaign against the Calabria-based ‘ndrangheta, arguably the world’s richest organized crime group, in recent years. The group has exploited tens of billions of dollars in cocaine revenues over decades to extend its criminal reach across Europe and into several continents as the Sicilian Mafia lost influence. / AP