Police launch coordinated raids on Italian mafia in Europe

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The 'Ndrangheta mafia comes from Calabria in southern Italy.

The crackdown was coordinated by Eurojust, a European unit established to fight cross-border organized crime. "They are not the only ones able to operate across borders; so are Europe's judiciary and law enforcement communities", said Filippo Spiezia, vice president of Eurojust.

The homes of high-ranking mobsters were also targeted, with police successfully recovering millions of euros in laundered money.

It was the second significant mob takedown in as many days. His arrest was among the 46 people taken into custody.

Giovanni Bombardieri, an Italian prosecutor, said that "sophisticated investigative techniques" were used to monitor the crime group's operations and communications, and characterized the violence linked to 'Ndrangheta as tantamount to "carnage".

Eurojust said the massive probe was the biggest of its kind in Europe.

Officials said by midday of the operation, nearly 4,000 kilos of cocaine and hundreds of kilos of other drugs were seized.

Federico Cafiero De Raho, Italy's chief anti-mafia prosecutor, hailed the "extraordinary nature of this operation", but warned that the organization is "extremely powerful and extremely rich", so they are far from defeated.

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Germany's Der Spiegel said 65 premises were being searched, including restaurants, apartments and offices, while Belgian media reported that arrests there were concentrated in eastern Limburg province.

At least 90 people were arrested, and more than three tonnes of cocaine and 140kg of ecstasy were seized.

He added, groups of the 'Ndrangheta and its allies, have infiltrated the ports around Europe and "polluted" lawyers and accountants in many countries on their payrolls. "Wherever there is great business to be done, there is always the 'ndrangheta". He was arrested together with with 45 other top mobsters, Italian authorities said Tuesday.

In Germany, federal police said there had been multiple arrests in the early morning raids.

In Germany, the raids - which are part of Operation Pollino - are focused on the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the mafia has traditionally had a large presence.

Italian media said key organised crime family members were targeted. That is the same clan involved in the bloody feud that culminated in six people being shot dead at an Italian eatery in the German city of Duisburg in August 2007.

"We should be arresting thousands.their wealth is enormous", he added. he pointed out that the mafia clan's methods are sophisticated and often involve respected members of society like lawyers and accountants acting for them.

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