Europol: 31 mafia suspects arrested in Italy, Germany


AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Europol said on Wednesday 31 suspects had been arrested in an Italian-German police operation targeting the ‘Ndrangheta mafia group.

Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, said it had provided support in the operation, which involved around 800 officers and tax officials in both countries.

The 'Ndrangheta-linked group, including 65 suspects who were identified but not arrested, is "suspected of having organised the trade in cocaine between Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain using encrypted ... communication tools," Europol said in a statement.

Hospitality companies were used to launder proceeds in Italy, while in Germany the investigation focused on drug sales and tax avoidance, said Europol, whose headquarters are in the Netherlands.

"In total, at least several hundreds of thousands of euros have been seized, as well as weapons, cocaine, two luxury vehicles and jewellery," Europol said.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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