Home News Huge French-Italian police raid nets 46 mafia arrests

Huge French-Italian police raid nets 46 mafia arrests

Published on September 15, 2020

Nearly 600 French and Italian police took part in cross-border raids Tuesday targeting the ‘Ndrangheta mafia and French organised crime groups, resulting in 46 arrests, officials said.

The operation, the fruit of investigations that began in 2018, targetted drug and weapons smuggling that also involved associates in Belgium and the Netherlands as well as drug suppliers based in Albania.

“On September 15, 450 French gendarmes and 120 Italian carabinieri arrested participants in a vast drug trafficking operation between France and Italy,” prosecutors in the French Mediterranean city of Marseille said.

The arrests “allowed the breakup of a French criminal group operating in southern France, linked in part to the Calabrian mafia, the ‘Ndrangeta,” the statement added.

Italy’s carabinieri said 14 suspects had been arrested on charges of the possession and traffic of weapons and drugs, possession of fake IDs, or helping a ‘Ndrangheta member escape justice.

The 32 arrested by French police are suspected of belonging to an armed gang, drug trafficking and robbery.

Some 900,000 euros’ worth of evidence ($1.1 million) was seized.

The carabinieri statement alleged deals involving cocaine and cannabis — as well Skorpion machine guns and AK47 assault rifles — between Carmelo Sgro, linked to the mafia’s Gallico clan, and a French trafficker with ties to the Magnoli family based on the French Riviera.

It also claimed that Sgro’s family helped Filippo Morgante, a high-ranking Gallico member, to go on the run with the help of fake IDs.

Prosecutors from Marseille and the Italian city of Genoa have scheduled a joint press conference for Wednesday at 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) in Marseille.