Strike against ‘Ndrangheta: Major raid against Italian mafia in five federal states


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Strike ‘Ndrangheta
Major raid against Italian mafia in five federal states

Investigators are taking action against the Calabrian mafia organization ‘Ndrangheta across Europe – including in Germany. Large-scale searches are underway in five federal states. Several arrest warrants are issued. The suspects are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and drug smuggling, among other things.

With a large-scale operation in several federal states, the police took action against members of the Italian mafia ‘Ndrangheta. This was announced by the state prosecutors. The focus of the raids was therefore in Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. There were also searches in Thuringia. Authorities in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain were also on duty.

In Germany, residential and business premises were searched in numerous places, and more than 30 arrest warrants were executed. In North Rhine-Westphalia, around 500 emergency services searched a total of 51 houses, apartments, offices and business premises belonging to suspects and executed 15 arrest warrants. In Bavaria, the authorities investigated eight suspects, and EU arrest warrants were executed against four suspects. A total of eleven arrest warrants were also executed and more than 50 apartments and business premises were searched in Thuringia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.

The suspects are accused of money laundering, gang tax evasion, commercial gang fraud and drug smuggling, among other things. The ‘Ndrangheta has its roots in Italian Calabria, but the mafia is also active in Germany.

Most wanted Italian criminal

Only last week, special units caught the boss of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta in Genoa, who had been on the run for years. Pasquale Bonavota has been wanted since 2018. He was one of the most wanted Italian criminals and, along with other Mafia figures, was included in the Interior Ministry’s list of the most dangerous fugitives.

Bonavota are accused of, among other things, mafia affiliation, murder, illegal possession of weapons and drug trafficking. He was the only person still on the run in 2019 after a full-scale raid that made 334 arrests. Bonavota was until the end boss of the Sant Onofrio clan of the ‘Ndrangheta.

Several mafiosi who have been wanted for years have already been arrested this year. In mid-January, for example, the Italian authorities managed to arrest Cosa Nostra boss Matteo Messina Denaro in Sicily after 30 years on the run. In cooperation with foreign authorities, two more high-ranking mafiosi were arrested in France and on Bali.

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