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Hundreds sought in Italian crime syndicate crackdown

By the CNN Wire Staff
Italy's Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, says the sweep is the most important operation against  the 'Ndrangheta in years.
Italy's Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, says the sweep is the most important operation against the 'Ndrangheta in years.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The group is prevalent in south Italy
  • Authorites hope to arrest 300 suspects
  • The suspects are wanted for crimes ranging from theft to murder
RELATED TOPICS
  • Organized Crime
  • Italy
  • Milan

Rome, Italy (CNN) -- Police fanned out across Italy Tuesday on a major crackdown on the crime syndicate, the 'Ndrangheta, prosecutors said.

The operation, called "The Crime," is seeking to arrest between 200 and 300 people on charges ranging from receiving stolen goods to murder.

The operation is being headed by Milan prosecutors Ilda Bocassini and Giuseppe Pignatone.

Italy's Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, praised the operation in a statement.

'It's absolutely the most important operation against the 'Ndrangheta in the last years. It's a shot in the heart of the criminal system under the economical and logistic point of view," the statement said.

The group is prevalent in the Calabria region of south Italy and seen as similar to the Sicilian Mafia. But the group has stretched to many other countries.

In 2004, authorities said they linked the 'Ndrangheta to an international drug trafficking network involving gangs in South America and Australia.

Journalist Livia Borghese contributed to this report.

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