Italy and US police crack major mafia drug ring

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Police and Italy and New York say they’ve smashed a major trans-Atlantic mafia drug smuggling ring.

FBI and Italian agents jointly carried out “Operation New Bridge” arresting 24 people.

They are accused of dealing cocaine with a street value of some 750 million euros.

The sting operation involving undercover agents and wiretaps offered more evidence the Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta had overtaken its Sicilian cousin, the Cosa Nostra, and was trying to make inroads in the United States by forging ties with one of the traditional New York mob families, the Gambinos.

Assistant US attorney Marshall Miller said: “Using techniques like undercover officers, and court authorised wire-taps, American and Italian law enforcement determined that the ‘ndrangheta aimed to move deadly narcotics across international boundaries, attempting to build a bridge of criminality and corruption to stretch from South America to Italy and back to New York,

The two dozen people arrested are accused of international drugs trafficking, money laundering and membership in organised crime.