Gangsters with suspected links to one of Italy’s most notorious mafia groups have been arrested in Spain.
Gangsters with suspected links to the Italian mafia have been arrested in Ibiza as part of a mammoth police operation involving both Spanish and Italian authorities.
Thirty-two criminals were arrested on Spain’s infamous party island, with officers searching 40 addresses across Ibiza, Barcelona, Malaga and Tenerife.
About €30,000 in cash, 18 kilograms of amphetamine and 4.5kg of cocaine, as well as guns and ammunition, were also seized.
The European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) said those arrested were believed to be part of two organised crime groups, both connected to the Calabrian-based ‘Ndrangheta mafia group.
They operated in Ibiza, but the group was based in Milan and were allegedly involved in drug trafficking, money laundering and extortion, according to Eurojust.
“The head of the organised crime group is assumed to be related to the boss of one of the most powerful Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta families,” the watchdog said in a statement released on Tuesday. The group is also believed to be linked with the Sicilian Cosa Nostra mafia.
The suspects allegedly used sailing boats to import large quantities of cocaine from South America, to be sold in Ibiza.
The criminal network also allegedly ran several businesses in Ibiza to mask their illegal activities, including real estate businesses and rental apartments for tourists.
“It is believed that the organised crime group was able to fully exert its power on the territory of Ibiza according to the mafia modalities and patterns that normally are exercised only in Italy,” Eurojust said.
Information from Italian authorities established that two members of the organised crime group had settled in Ibiza and were allegedly involved in committing extortion.
The intelligence sparked Eurojust to open the case in April.