Monday, March 15, 2010

Dozens Arrested in Europe-Wide Mafia Crackdown

Dozens of people have been arrested across Europe in a major crackdown on Eastern European mafias.

At least 24 were detained in Spain and another 45 were arrested in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy.

The suspects were said to be members of Georgian and Russian crime gangs. All are accused of drugs and arms trafficking, money laundering, extortion and conspiracy to murder.

Spanish anti-corruption authorities, who led the operation, said that the gangs were also involved in money laundering, extortion and other crimes in Britain, Ireland Sweden, Belgium and Turkey.

Some were also said to have links to criminal gangs in Colombia.

Those arrested in Spain were mostly said to be "foot soldiers".

“We are not going to find great mansions nor enormous quantities of money, as in other operations, because this is an organisation which operated at a more basic level, but they did it in various European countries," a Spanish police source said.

“These people were ready to kill if it was necessary."

The arrests in Spain were made in Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid and Bilbao.

Read more here

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