A multinational police operation, run by Bulgaria, Germany and Italy, raided 46 commercial and residential properties on Wednesday, as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of tax fraud by the ’Ndrangheta mafia.
German police confirmed that 11 people, members of the Italian mafia ’Ndrangheta group, have been arrested so far in the raids, with the accused set to be swiftly brought before a magistrate.
A single person was taken into police custody by Bulgarian authorities. Four others were detained in Germany and six in Italy. The evidence, which included the stolen cars, was also seized during 46 raids.
The operation came after German authorities accused the Italian mafia group of forming a criminal organization that has engaged in tax fraud worth around €13 million ($15.12 million). Police said that the accused used tax fraud to claim value-added tax on luxury vehicles sold multiple times throughout Europe.
Police in German have been investigating the claims for over a year with the assistance of the tax authorities, led by officials at the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.
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Italian-German Europol operation arrests 31 suspects in mafia over money laundering and drug trafficking
Earlier this year, Europol launched an international operation against the ’Ndrangheta group over allegations it had been involved in drug-trafficking and money-laundering. In that operation, 31 members of the mafia group were detained. 65 others are also being accused.
Italian officials claim the ’Ndrangheta is the most powerful mafia organization in the country, and thought to operate throughout Europe, with police alleging it has been responsible for moving drugs from South America to the continent.
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