On Tuesday 15 September, the French Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale) and the Italian Carabinieri Corps (Arma dei Carabinieri), supported by Europol and Eurojust, arrested 46 individuals (33 in France and 13 in Italy) for their involvement in large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering.
This operation was enabled by an exceptional deployment of more than 550 police officers in France (in and around Paris and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) and Italy (Liguria). During the house searches, law enforcement officers seized weapons, a large amount of cash, counterfeited documents, drugs, vehicles and various assets from money laundering operations. The investigation also uncovered the transfer of weapons, some of them military. The suspects linked to the ‘Ndrangheta were reported to play an active role in cocaine and cannabis trafficking between the Côte d’Azur in France and Liguria in Italy, with supply chains from Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands.
Europol supported the investigation by facilitating the information exchange and providing analytical support and operational coordination. During the action day, Europol set up a coordination room and provided analytical support to crosscheck information in real time and thus provide leads to investigators on the field.
This case was also supported by the EU’s ISF ONNET project (Internal Security Funds), led by the Italian Anti-mafia Directorate (DIA, Direzione Investigativa Antimafia), which provides financial and operational support to tackle all types of organised crime groups.