“Eureka” – this was the massive operation against the Italian mafia in Europe, which laundered money in Argentina

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Thousands of policemen launched more than 150 dawn interventions on Wednesday in various European countries arrest more than one hundred members of the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia that has extended its tentacles outside Italy practically throughout the old continent.

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In an operation that started with the judicial investigations launched in Belgium in 2018 and which was fueled, among other things, by the information collected by Italy on the pentiti, the police officersThey have performed in Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Romania.

In Germany alone more than 1,000 police officers participated and in Italy more than 1,400. there was also arrests in Brazil and Panama. The Central American country often serves as a stopover for shipments of cocaine from South America to Europe.

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German policemen bring evidence during one of the operations in Saarlouis.  Photo: AP

German policemen bring evidence during one of the operations in Saarlouis. Photo: AP

The biggest operation

The Belgian prosecutor’s office said in a statement that “it is without a doubt the largest operation never launched in Europe against the Calabrian mafia”.

In Belgium there have been police interventions and arrests, especially in Antwerp.

The port of the Flemish city has become in recent years the main entrance to the Europe of South American cocaine.

Belgian federal judge Antoon Schotsaert arrives for a press conference on the operation.  Photo: BENOIT DOPPAGNE / AFP

Belgian federal judge Antoon Schotsaert arrives for a press conference on the operation. Photo: BENOIT DOPPAGNE / AFP

The Brussels prosecutor’s office said it had targeted “more than a hundred” alleged members of the Calabrian mafia, responsible for part of the cocaine trafficking to Europe.

In Belgium, 13 people were detained at the close of this note. Seven of which at the request of the Italian authorities. Germany arrested 30 and other countries a few dozen. Italy has arrested 105 members of the ‘Ndrangheta.

“Eureka”, an investigation born in 2018

The investigation, of Belgian origin and born five years ago, was baptized as ‘euraka’.

Focused on crimes such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking, fraud and tax crimes on a large scale.

The German press explained on Wednesday morning that according to the Munich public prosecutor’s office the operation was “one of the most significant in recent years in the field of organized crime in Italy”.

Money laundry

The investigation found out a money laundering scheme based on a network of restaurants, pizzerias, bars and ice cream parlors.

even black money invested in Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Portugal and Uruguay in buildings, restaurants, hotels, car washes or supermarkets.

In Germany it was experienced as a great success of the police. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said it was “a huge blow to the ‘Ndrangheta.

According to Europol, the European police coordination agency, the intervening network was under the orders of various families of the ‘Ndrangheta based in the Calabrian city of San Luca.

Some of these families, according to the Europol note, “have been involved for decades in violence between mafia clans” and were involved in the massacre caused in the German city of Duisburg in 2007. Some of those arrested were on the lists of most wanted fugitives Europol and Interpol.

Europol says the network worked in coordination with the Colombian “Clan del Golfo” and with an Albanian-origin mafia network with a presence in Ecuador and several European countries.

Furthermore, they were involved in arms trafficking from pakistan to south america and they had armed the “Primeiro Comando da Capital” (PCC), an armed organization present in the Brazilian city of São Paulo in exchange for shipments of cocaine.


Source: Clarin

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