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Big anti-crime sweep in Italy

Italian police on Tuesday carried out one of the biggest operations ever against the powerful 'ndrangheta crime organization, arresting 300 people including top bosses, and seizing million of dollars in property.

The man believed to be the 'ndrangheta's top boss, Domenico Oppedisano, was picked up earlier in the day in Rosarno, a small coastal town in Calabria, the southern region where the organization is based, police said.

Also arrested was the man in charge of the gang's businesses in Milan, where the 'ndrangheta has been making major inroads.

The pre-dawn raids Tuesday involved some 3,000 police across the country. Charges include murder, extortion, arms and drug trafficking and criminal association.

Investigators described the operation as one of the biggest blows ever to an organization that today is considered more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said the sweep struck at the heart of the 'ndrangheta in terms of both its organization and of its finances.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 13, 2010; 7:48 AM ET
Categories:  Around the World  
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