On 1 July, Europol coordinated the international police operation which resulted in the dismantlement of the Sicilian Mafia Cosa Nostra crime syndicate of Barrafranca. Operation Ultra was led by the Italian Special Operation Department (R.O.S. Caltanissetta) of the Carabinieri (Arma dei Carabinieri), the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) and the Landeskriminalamt of Niedersachsen.
The suspects were involved in drug trafficking, the use of firearms, as well as extortion and corruption in public tenders. The suspect identified in Germany was taking advantage of his residence in another country to support and re-organise both the criminal assets of the Mafia clan in Sicily and the drug trafficking routes used to fund the criminal organisation.
60 house searches and €1.5 million seized
In total, 45 individuals were arrested in various locations in Sicily, and 60 house searches were carried out. Some €1.5 million were seized, alongside important documentation for the investigation. Furthermore, the deputy leader of the Mafia clan was arrested in Wolzburg, (Germany).
Operations Ultra is the second phase of operation Kaulonia, which on March 2019 led to the arrest of 25 suspects and revealed connections of the Mafia crime family of Barrafranca (Sicily) with Germany.
Europol supported the investigation by coordinating the information exchange and organizing several operational meetings during the investigation. The case was also supported by EU ISF ONNET project (Internal Security Funds), led by the Italian Direzione Investigativa Antimafia, which provides financial support to tackle all types of organised crime groups.