Gioia Tauro

195 kg of cocaine stopped at Gioia Tauro

Brazil taking on 'primary role' in shipments, police say

195 kg of cocaine stopped at Gioia Tauro

Gioia Tauro, November 2 - Italian customs and tax police on Friday stopped 195 kilogrammes of cocaine from going through this Calabrian container port from Brazil to markets in Italy and Europe. Investigators said Brazil was taking on a "primary role" in cocaine movement. The seizure was the fifth big cocaine find in the port in less than two months. It brought to 2,828 kg the amount of cocaine stopped in the huge port since the start of the year. Last year 1,082 kg was seized. Gioia Tauro, the largest container port in the Mediterranean, is one of the main conduits used by the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia, investigators say. 'Ndrangheta is Italy's richest mafia because of its domination of the European cocaine trade. According to a recent report from the Eurispes research agency, annual drugs profits for 'Ndrangheta are now the equivalent of 3% of Italian GDP. Ndrangheta' (from a Greek word meaning 'heroism' or virtue') once lived in the twin shadow of its Sicilian cousin Cosa Nostra and the Camorra in Naples. It is regarded as the most impenetrable of Italy's mafias, with its close-knit family-based organisation outdoing the Sicilian mafia in its ability to defeat police efforts to turn members into state witnesses. It has expanded from its Calabrian base to northern Italy, notably Lombardy, where a regional councillor was arrested in Milan last month for allegedly buying votes from 'Ndrangheta clans. The city council of Reggio Calabria was dissolved last month for alleged 'Ndrangheta links.

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