ROME (Reuters) – Nearly 170 people, including mayors, businessmen and local administrators, were arrested on Tuesday in a large anti-mafia blitz in Italy and Germany against clan members who controlled restaurants, garbage collection and funeral services.
Police and investigators told a news conference that most of the arrests, which totalled 169 by early afternoon, were carried out in the southern Italian region of Calabria, base of the ‘Ndrangheta crime group. More could be apprehended, they said.
In recent years the ‘Ndrangheta has overtaken the Cosa Nostra, or Sicilian mob, in drugs and arms trafficking and extortion rackets, extending its tentacles into northern Europe, the United States and Canada.
In Germany, police also arrested about a dozen men, as part of the same operation, on suspicion of blackmail, attempted murder, money laundering and other organised crime offences.
Police searched six apartments and four restaurants in Germany and confiscated cash, mobile phones, …