Friday 01 July 2022

Dutch police raid ‘dozens’ of homes in European mafia crackdown

The Eurojust offices in The Hague. Photo: Eurojust

Police are carrying out raids on homes at several locations in the Netherlands on Wednesday morning as part of a Europe-wide campaign against a Calabrian mafia organisation.

‘Judicial and law enforcement authorities from the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Belgium are currently executing arrests and seizures against a Ndrangheta criminal group involved in cocaine trafficking, money laundering, bribery and violence,’ European legal cooperation organisation Eurojust said in a statement.

‘Today’s action, code named ‘Pollino’, is the result of an intensive joint investigation that started in 2016 and has been coordinated at European level,’ Eurojust said.

A spokesman for the Dutch public prosecution department refused to give any more information, the AD said, adding that the raids in the Netherlands involve ‘dozens’ of locations.

Ndrangheta is a mafia organisation from the south of Italy which has extended its influence to many other countries. The AD said last year that Dutch police had introduced a special police unit completely dedicated to fighting mafia activities on Dutch soil.

Complacency

That move was made in response to complaints by the Italian government about Dutch complacency in the face of mafia activity, allowing wanted criminals to live ‘a carefree life’ in the Netherlands, the paper said.

A 2012 police report showed the Ndrangheta could have as many as a hundred active members in this country.

Mafia activity in the Netherlands is mainly concentrated around the drugs and weapons trade but experts warn the criminal organisation is infiltrating sectors of the Dutch economy as well. In 2015 police investigation showed a mafia family had been active in the Aalsmeer flower auction for years.

Eurojust, which is based in The Hague, will give more details about the raids at a press conference at 12am.

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