Reggio Calabria, October 22 - Italian police on Monday seized a building in the Calabrian city of Palmi regarded as a symbol of the sway of the locally based 'Ndrangheta mafia, the world's most powerful crime syndicate. The four-storey building with five apartments and four basement meeting rooms, surrounded by large grounds with high walls and an imposing gate, was "the symbol of the mafia power exerted over the area by the Gallico' clan," prosecutors said. The building, worth an estimated three million euros, was impounded on the orders of the local office of Italy's anti-mafia department. 'Ndrangheta has overtaken Cosa Nostra as Italy's richest mafia, whose impenetrability is matched by its international reach. It controls the European cocaine trade and has branches throughout Italy, northern Europe, Canada and Australia.
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di Giovanni Pastore