Italian police have arrested 130 suspects from the 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia in the country's northern regions as reported by ANSA:
National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor Prosecutor Franco Roberti said that the Bologna-based operation was "historic and unprecedented." It was "imposing and decisive in the fight against the mafia in the north," he said. "I can't recall an intervention of this type to combat a strong and monolithic criminal organisation, deeply infiltrated (in the northern economy)," Roberti said.
The massive raid was based in Bologna which is the capital city of the Emilia-Romagna Region where 117 arrests were made.
Two arrested suspects "were captured in a wiretap laughing at a deadly Italian earthquake and planning how to take advantage of reconstruction contracts" as reported by ANSA:
Prosecutors said the conversation between suspected 'Ndrangheta members Gaetano Blasco and Antonio Valerio caught them laughing at the 2012 disaster in Emilia Romagna. They joked about building collapses and how they would be able to take advantage of construction work in the conversation that dates from May 29, 2012 - the second day of disastrous tremors in the region that ultimately killed 12.
The 'Ndrangheta from Italy's southern Calabria region controls the European cocaine trade, and launders its drug money in Italy's wealthier central and northern regions. Earlier this year Italian authorities seized assets worth 420 million euros -- nearly $600 million -- including several shops and businesses in Rome from suspected clans of the Calabrian Mafia as reported by ANSA.
The drug-trafficking crime group further has become entrenched in Australia, Canada and the United States.
Mob watchers in Canada suspect that the Calabrians have backed a breakaway group from the Rizzuto clan of the Sicilian Mafia for control over the drug rackets in Montreal and New York, and the turf war has resulted in dozens of murders over the last few years.
Last year Italian and American police arrested dozens of suspected mobsters on both sides of the Atlantic for their alleged roles in a joint drug smuggling plot between the Gambino family and the Calabrian Mafia.
Further reading that may be of interest: