Reggio Calabria

Over 190 kilos of cocaine confiscated from ship in Calabria

Drugs hidden in sacks of coffee, say authorities

Over 190 kilos of cocaine confiscated from ship in Calabria

Reggio Calabria, May 6 - Over 190 kilograms of cocaine were confiscated by police and customs officers on Monday from a Marshall Islands flagged ship in the Calabrian port city of Gioia Tauro. The drugs were divided in 148 packages hidden in sacks of coffee, police said. Authorities discovered the drugs after document and ship checks were carried out. Police said that the drugs had a street value of millions of euros and were being shipped from South America, headed to Turkey. 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 in October for allegedly buying votes from 'Ndrangheta clans. The city council of Reggio Calabria was dissolved last year for alleged 'Ndrangheta links.

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