21 'Ndrangheta arrests near Turin

Gang 'dealt in weapons, drugs since 2007'

21 'Ndrangheta arrests near Turin

Turin, May 7 - Italian police on Tuesday arrested 21 people around Italy for crimes allegedly commissioned and committed by an 'Ndrangheta Calabrian mafia cell near Turin. The cell, or 'locale' in 'Ndrangheta parlance, was located outside the town of Giaveno, police said. The gang had been active "since at least 2007", police said, trafficking weapons and drugs. 'Ndrangheta, Italy's richest and most dangerous mafia, controls the European cocaine trade. It has invested its profits in northern Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and Australia. Property belonging to the 'locale' was seized in Rosarno, a Calabrian town controlled by 'Ndrangheta, and Sommariva del Bosco near Cuneo, north of Milan. 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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