ROME (AP) — Italian police carried out one of the biggest operations ever against the powerful Ndrangheta crime group, making some 300 arrests and seizing millions of dollars (euros) in property in pre-dawn raids Tuesday, news agencies reported.
The sweep was centered on northern cities where the southern Italy-based gang has been making major inroads.
The reports said at least 3,000 police officers worked on the investigation. Those arrested will be brought up on charges including murder, extortion, arms and drug trafficking and criminal association.
The Ndrangheta, linked to crime around the world, is today considered more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia.
The biggest operation was in the Milan region of Lombardy, where 160 people were reportedly arrested. They included businessmen and the director of state medical services in the city of Pavia.
The last such operation against the Calabrian mob dates to the 1990s. Since then it has expanded its power, not only in Italy but in such countries as Germany.