Reggio Calabria, March 5 - An Irish Republican Army (IRA) militant is reportedly among 20 people arrested early on Tuesday in an operation against the Aquino and Morabito 'Ndrangheta organized crime families, police sources said. Alleged crime boss Rocco Morabito, son of Giuseppe Morabito aka U Tiradrittu and several Spanish and Italian businessmen were also arrested on suspicion of criminal conspiracy and money laundering in what police are calling Operation Metropolis. Agents also seized assets worth 450 million euros. The IRA allegedly sent the arrested militant to launder money with the help of Italian organized crime families. The IRA allegedly first contacted the Neapolitan Camorra and the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta around 2007-2008. The IRA reportedly has also laundered money through organized crime elements in Spain. 'Ndrangheta, whose name means 'virtue' or 'heroism' in a dialectical form of ancient Greek, once dealt mainly in kidnappings and extortion and fed off the pickings of public tenders, living in the shadow of its Sicilian cousin. But it has since expanded throughout Italy, northern Europe and other countries, where it invests its huge drugs profits.
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di Giovanni Pastore