90 arrested in international action against Italian mafia; 5 in Netherlands

A total of 90 people arrested in a large international action against the Italian mafia clan 'Ndrangheta on Wednesday morning, was announced at a press conference at European judicial cooperation body Eurojust in The Hague. As part of 'Operation Pollino', the police and judiciary in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium raided various locations. 

In the Netherlands the police raided buildings in Zoetermeer, The Hague, Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Velzen, Rotterdam, Tegelen and Sittard. Five people were arrested - one Italian and four Dutch. The Italian suspect will be extradited to Italy. A Dutch citizen was also arrested in Germany at the request of the Dutch authorities. The Dutch police seized dozens of kilograms of cocaine, thousands of euros in contracts and 140 kilograms of ecstasy pills.

This investigation got started in 2014 due to money laundering suspicions at two Italian restaurants in Venray and Horst, said Bert Langerak, head of investigation at the Dutch Tax Authority's investigative department FIOD. "Further investigation also revealed a suspicion of insurance fraud and arson. In addition, there was a clear link with the Italian mafia and a connection with narcotics." The two restaurant also proved to be a meeting place for Italian mafia members who were also active in Germany and Italy. "In response to this, FIOD contacted the judiciary in Germany and Italy."

In total 90 people were arrested in Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Italy this morning, including a number of 'Ndrangheta leaders. Some 200 million euros of criminal money, 140 kilograms of ecstasy and over 3 thousand kilograms of cocaine were seized. These results would not have been possible without the cooperation of a large number of European countries, a Eurojust spokesperson said.