European Authorities Launch Crackdown on Italian Mob

Masked police stand in an ice parlor in Duisburg, western Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 as authorities conduct coordinated raids in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands in a crackdown on the Italian mafia. (Christoph Reichwein/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Authorities in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands launched coordinated raids Wednesday in a crackdown on the Italian mafia.

The raids were the culmination of an investigation codenamed Pollino that was launched in 2016 against the ‘ndrangheta criminal group on allegations of cocaine trafficking, money laundering, bribery and violence, said Eurojust, the European agency that fights cross-border organized crime, which coordinated the operation.

In Germany, federal police said there had been multiple arrests in the early morning raids on premises linked to the southern Italy-based organized crime group. The focus was on the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which borders the Netherlands and Belgium, and Bavaria to the south.

Further details were not immediately available but Eurojust scheduled a news conference for later in the day in The Hague.

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