Cocaine haul in southern Italy

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Gioia Tauro (Italy), Sep 11 (IANS/AKI) Italian Police said on Monday they impounded a total 434 kg of pure cocaine worth at least 43.4 million euros over the past 48 hours at the southern port of Gioia Tauro – a Calabrian mafia or ‘Ndrangheta bastion.

On Monday, officers uncovered 216 kg of cocaine at the port hidden in ten bags of rubber granules shipped from Latin American, Italian tax police said in a statement.

Monday’s haul contained 200 loaves of cocaine, worth at least 21.6 million euros, while on Saturday, police found 218 kg of cocaine worth at least 21.8 million euros concealed in two containers shipped from Guatemala and Costa Rica.

Almost 1,600 kg of cocaine worth over 650 million euros have been seized this year at Gioia Tauro of which 600 kg over the past month, according to tax police.

Gioa Tauro is Italy’s biggest container port and one of the largest transshipment hubs in the Mediterranean.

The latest raids “inflicted very heavy economic losses” on the ‘Ndrangheta, according to prosecutors quoted in the police statement.

Drug trafficking, extortion and money-laundering rackets have in recent decades made the ‘Ndrangheta Italy’s wealthiest and most powerful international crime syndicate.

–IANS/AKI

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