Italian Police Seize Cocaine, Make Arrests in Drug Bust

Posted July 14th, 2011 at 5:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Italian authorities have seized hundreds of kilograms of cocaine in a crackdown on international drug trafficking, linked to a southern Italian crime organization.

Police said Thursday they arrested about 10 suspected members of the crime syndicate 'Ndrangheta in various locations across Italy. Police allege that the notorious clan, based in the southern Calabria region, has been importing drugs from South America and distributing them throughout Europe and elsewhere.

Authorities have also issued international arrest warrants for five suspected traffickers in the Netherlands and Spain. The operation is targeting about 40 suspects, some of them located in Colombia, Venezuela and the United States.

Thursday's arrests were the result of an investigation dating back to 2008, which also involved the United States and Mexico.

In a 2008 operation, police in Italy, the United States and Mexico arrested 166 people on drug trafficking charges.

'Ndrangheta is one of Italy's most powerful and widespread crime organizations. Sicilian-based Mafia and Naples-based Camorra are two other powerful Italian crime syndicates.