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Police have seized two BILLION euro from the mafia

The gang “recycled an enormous amount of ‘dirty’ money through the use of gaming accounts”.

File photo of an Italian police car.
File photo of an Italian police car.
Image: daniel_philpott via Flickr/Creative Commons

ITALIAN POLICE HAVE seized assets worth €2 billion belonging to an organised crime syndicate, in the latest sting against the mafia.

The assets seized from the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, which controls much of Europe’s cocaine trade, included more than 1,500 betting shops, 82 online gambling sites and almost 60 companies, as well as numerous properties, the police said.

Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 28 people suspected of running the gambling empire and placed 23 others either under house arrest or ordered them to check in with the police.

The gang “recycled an enormous amount of ‘dirty’ money through the use of gaming accounts assigned to willing or unwitting people”, police said in a statement.

They bypassed the laws governing this sector, accumulating significant profits that were then reinvested in the acquisition of new companies and licences to further expand their activities.

Eleven of the companies seized were based abroad, in Austria, Malta, Romania and Spain.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano described the sting in the southern region of Reggio Calabria as “a serious blow to the ‘Ndrangheta”.

The operation came just two weeks after Italian authorities seized goods worth €1.6 billion from a Sicilian mafia family, which included 33 companies, hundreds of houses, villas and buildings, 80 bank accounts, 40 insurance policies and over 40 vehicles.

© – AFP, 2015

Read: New York to pay $5 million to family of man killed in “Mafia Cops” case >

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