Spanish police arrest Italian organised crime suspect

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Spanish police said Thursday they had captured a dangerous Calabrian organised crime figure, Carmelo Gallico, in Barcelona in an operation conducted with Italy.

"He is the head of a dangerous family clan belonging to the 'Ndrangheta, the most dangerous crime organization of Calabria," the regional Catalan police said in a statement.

The 'Ndrangheta -- whose name comes from the Greek for courage or loyalty -- are one of Italy's four organised crime syndicates, along with the Sicilian Mafia, the Sacra Corona from southeastern Puglia and the Naples-area Camorra.

Police said they arrested the 46-year-old on December 23 in an apartment in central Barcelona, where he had been trying to keep a low profile.

A fugitive from Italian justice, Gallico is suspected of serious crimes including membership of an organised crime syndicate, murder, extortion and money laundering, the police said.

Italy had started extradition procedures, they said.

© 2011 AFP

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