169 arrested in Italy, Germany in operation targeting Calabrian mafia
10 Jan 2018, 00:05 ( 9 days ago)
Italian authorities carried out a major anti-mafia operation on Tuesday, targeting a powerful clan of the 'Ndrangheta mob based in the southern Calabria region.
Some 169 people were arrested in Italy and in the southwest state of Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany, where the group was believed to have extended its illegal businesses, local media reported.
The raid targeted the Farao-Marincola clan, allegedly operating in Calabria, but also in the Lazio region surrounding Rome, and in the northern Emilia, Veneto and Lombardy regions.
All of the people arrested were variously charged with mafia association, extortion, embezzlement, corruption and collusive tendering, police said.
Some 10 public officials were among those arrested, including three local mayors in the Calabrian province of Crotone, according to state broadcaster RAI News 24. One of the mayors allegedly involved, Nicodemo Parrilla, was serving as president of the provincial council.
According to prosecutors of the Anti-Mafia District Directorate in Catanzaro, Parrilla and the other public officials would have served as "direct representatives of the mafia clan within the local councils."
Italian authorities carried out Tuesday's operation in coordination with police and prosecutors in Germany, where at least 13 of the suspects were arrested near Stuttgart on charges of extortion.
The German branch of the mob would have forced Italian restaurants in Stuttgart to buy all of their supplies from companies linked to the clan, according to investigators.
As for its illegal businesses in Italy, according to the Calabria police, the Farao-Marincola clan developed "a criminal holding, with a pervasive infiltration" of various economic sectors, including agribusiness, garbage collection, slot-machines, migrant assistance and public tenders.
Assets worth about 50 million euros (59.6 million U.S. dollars) were seized in the operation, including several companies run by alleged members of the group.