Reggio Calabria

'Ndrangheta money-laundering probe snares 22

Six companies worth 22 million euros seized in central Italy

'Ndrangheta money-laundering probe snares 22

Reggio Calabria, May 6 - Police in the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria on Monday arrested 22 alleged members of the 'Ndrangheta mafia on suspicion of money laundering. The defendants, believed to be members of the Galliciano' gang of the Calabria-based crime syndicate, face charges of mafia association, illegal arms possession, money laundering and use of money from illegal sources using mafia methods. Police also seized six businesses - with assets worth 20 million euros - in the Viterbo area and in the nearby Umbrian city of Terni, located in central Italy. The businesses work in the transport, real estate and fresh produce sectors. Investigators believe dirty money from Calabria - obtained through organized crime activities - was recycled through the central Italian companies, and then sent back to Reggio Calabria, capital of the region on the toe of Italy's boot-shaped peninsula. The probe began in 2009, when investigators identified three alleged 'Ndrangheta operations in the tiny rural town of Condofuri on the southern periphery of the craggy, mountainous Aspromonte national park. Investigators allegedly succeeded in penetrating the inner-workings of one of the operations, headed by the Galliciano family, learning its internal dynamics, hierarchy and tasks. The powerful 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate is based in Calabria but operates throughout Italy and the rest of Europe.

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