Netherlands to probe mafia activities

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Dutch prosecutors will for the first time open a probe into the activities of the Italian mafia, a spokesman said Wednesday.

"A working group will go to Rome for talks with Italian authorities," said Wim de Bruin. "For a long time we have been receiving reports about Italian mafia activities in the Netherlands."

De Bruin declined to give further details or when it would start.

The investigation will focus on drug trafficking and money laundering, Dutch daily NRC reported on its website, adding that Italian judicial officials suspected close collaboration between mafia networks and Dutch criminals.

"In recent years, more than 20 fugitives belonging to different mafia groups have been arrested on information provided by Italian justice and transferred back to Italy," National Director of Public Prosecutions Gerrit van der Burg was quoted as saying.

Between November 2008 and August 2009 Dutch police arrests included three members of the Calabrian mafia, the'Ndrangheta, considered the most powerful and violent network in Italy.

They were suspected of having been involved in a mafia killing in Germany, drug trafficking and murder.

© 2011 AFP

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