Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • LIVE: French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

Europe

Police arrest hundreds in swoop on Calabrian mafia

©

Video by Oliver FARRY

Text by Benjamin DODMAN

Latest update : 2010-07-13

Italian police have arrested more than 300 people in a major crackdown on the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, shedding new light upon a shadowy organisation that has grown to become the country’s most powerful and dreaded mafia.

Italian police on Tuesday made over 300 arrests, seized arms and confiscated tens of millions of euros of assets in a crackdown on the ‘Ndrangheta, the country’s most powerful mafia.

Hundreds of policemen swooped on suspected mafia agents in the southern Calabria region, the 'Ndrangheta’s traditional heartland, and in the wealthy north of Italy, into which the group has extended its operations.

Charges range from murder to money laundering, as well as belonging to an organised crime group.

The raids, which also included arrests in the United States and Canada, underscored the organisation’s global reach and shed new light upon its internal structure.

"This is the first time that the Ndrangheta has been hit at the core"


In recent decades, the 'Ndrangheta has grown to become the most dreaded of Italy’s four main crime syndicates, which include the Camorra in the area of Naples, Cosa Nostra in Sicily, and the smaller Sacra Corona Unita in the south-eastern region of Puglia.

It has expanded out of its Calabrian heartland to play a major role in organised crime throughout Europe and the global drugs trade, and was thrust into the spotlight in 2007 after a family feud led to the killing of six Italians in the German city of Duisburg.

‘On the ropes’

“This is the biggest blow inflicted on the ‘Ndrangheta in 30 years,” said Piero Colaprico of Italian daily La Repubblica, in an interview with FRANCE 24.

Among those arrested on Tuesday was Domenico Oppedisano, thought to be the organisation’s top leader.

“The 'Ndrangheta is now on the ropes,” said Colaprico. “But one must not forget that each time you cut a head off, someone else in the family steps up to take the person’s place.”

Crucially, the operation paves the way for a whole new understanding of how the Calabrian mafia works.

“The ‘Ndrangheta used to be seen as a loose, horizontal galaxy of independent groups spread out across the Calabrian hinterland,” said Colaprico. “Today, it is looking very much like a unitary, vertically-structured organization; much like the better-known Cosa Nostra in Sicily.”

The arrests in northern Italy, aimed at the 'Ndrangheta's commercial interests in the building and healthcare sectors, confirmed the growing focus of the organisation on the wealthy region of Lombardy, and its attempts to infiltrate local politics.

When it comes to Italy, “the ‘Ndrangheta’s head is in Calabria, but its business is in Milan,” said Colaprico.

This northward tilt led to a brief internal war in 2008, when an attempted secession by the “Lombard” branch was swiftly quashed by the organisation’s Calabrian bosses.

Date created : 2010-07-13

  • ITALY

    Police arrest 19 accused of helping mafia 'godfather'

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Mafia boss denies ties to Berlusconi

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Top mafia brothers are caught in weekend of high-profile arrests

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)