In a major international campaign against the Italian Mafia Plan ‘ndrangheta, 84 people were arrested this morning. This operation, “Operation Pollino”, took place in Italy Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and in Luxembourg.

The outcomes were announced at a Eurojust debriefing. According to one speaker, the action would not have been possible without the involvement of a large number of European countries.

During the action in the Netherlands, tens of kilos of cocaine were confiscated, thousands of euros in cash and 140 kilograms of ecstasy pills. In a place where the pills were made, a raid was also carried out.

According to Bert Langerak, Director of Investigation at FIOD, the ball started rolling in 2014 on suspicion of money laundering in two Italian restaurants in Venray and Horst.

“Further investigation also revealed suspicions of insurance fraud and arson, and there was a clear link with the Italian mafia and a link to drugs.”

The Italian restaurants proved to be a meeting place for Italian Mafia members.

“The FIOD has turned to the judiciary in Germany and Italy,” says Langerak. “The investigation started with three suspects, one of whom was arrested this morning in the Netherlands, the second in Italy and the third in Germany.”

A total of 84 people were arrested this morning in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg, including some leaders of the Mafia Plan. 2 million euros of counterfeit money were confiscated. 140 kilograms of ecstasy pills and more than 3000 kilograms of cocaine were also found.

“According to Eurojust, Ndrangheta differs from other criminal organizations in the very strong emphasis on family relationships. The mafia plan controls a large part of the cocaine trade in Europe and is systematically violent.

‘Ndrangheta has control over the many Italian restaurants, ice cream parlors and hotels. The suspicion is that criminal money is invested to launder it.

“They are often used very briefly and executed as a cover.” according to Fred Westerbeke of the prosecutor.

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