Spain arrests 32 allegedly linked to Italy’s ’Ndrangheta mafia gang

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Spain arrests 32 allegedly linked to Italy’s ’Ndrangheta mafia gang

Spain has arrested 32 members of an organised crime group linked to the infamous Italian ’Ndrangheta mafia.

Members of the criminal gang are described as very violent and are accused of large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering, Europol said.

The group allegedly has links to cocaine and cannabis trafficking between Spain and Italy "using vehicles equipped with hidden compartments and speedboats to transport the drugs".

"The criminal profits were reinvested into real estate in Spain to hide their illegal origin, polluting the legal economy," Europol said in a statement.

Among the 32 suspects were Italians, Albanians, and Hungarians.

Some of those arrested are also linked to a number of murders in Italy, Europol added.

The authorities also seized 18 kilograms of amphetamine, 4.5 kilograms of cocaine, a number of firearms, €300,000 in cash and 600 cannabis plants.

Some 40 properties were also searched in the coastal Spanish cities of Barcelona, Málaga and Tenerife.

The operation took place on two different days last week on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza and involved 500 law enforcement officers from the Spanish Civil Guard, Italy’s Carabinieri and Guardia de Finanza, supported by the European bodies for police and justice, Europol and Eurojust.

The Calabrian ’Ndrangheta mafia is considered to be the most important criminal organisation in western Europe.

"The members of this criminal organisation would routinely use violence, including torture, to further their criminal goals," Europol said on Tuesday.