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Italian police arrest 40 Calabrian mafia suspects


Italian police arrested 40 people in a crackdown on the 'Ndrangheta, the mafia in the southern region of Calabria on Wednesday. They also seized property and bank deposits worth ten million euros.

All those arrested in the southern town of Rosarno were from the Pesce clan. They were accused of criminal association, murder, extortion and drug trafficking.

Among them were seven women, accused of being particularly active in laundering money by buying real estate under false names.

On Monday police arrested Giovanni Tegano, the alleged 'Ndrangheta boss, who had been on the run for 17 years and been the subject of an international arrest warrant since 1995.

The 'Ndrangheta is the most powerful and ruthless of Italy's organised crime syndicates, which also include the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, Naples's Camorra and the Sacra Corona Unita in Puglia.

It is involved in drugs and arms trafficking, prostitution and extortion.

It made 44 billion euros - 2.9 per cent of Italy's gross domestic product - in 2007, according to the Eurispes research institute.

The 'Ndrangheta was accused of involvement in violent clashes in Rosarno in January between locals and immigrant casual labourers.