In the biggest operation of its kind to date in Europe, raids took place early Wednesday, spanning locations in those five countries and Suriname.
The Mafia group hails from Calabria, the region that forms the tip of Italy's boot, and has made substantial inroads in European countries.
But Italy's top Mafia prosecutor, Federico Cafiero De Raho, also sounded a note of caution, saying the raids only scratched the surface of the powerful 'ndrangheta, whose tentacles and illicit activities, including huge cocaine trafficking operations, were spread all over the world.
Police arrest at least 84 suspected mobsters across Europe in a continent-wide crackdown on Italian mafia group
Authorities in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg worked together on the operation with the code name "Pollino," coordinated by the Eurojust from 2016, assisted by Europol.
Mafia raids have been launched across Europe targeting Ndrangheta group
The largest #antimafia case in Europe sees 84 arrested and over 4000 kg of drugs seized in a joint action with hundreds of police officers against the ‘Ndrangheta, one of the most powerful criminal mafia groups in the world:
Berlin - More than 80 people with suspected links to the 'Ndrangheta Mafia - considered one of the world's largest organized crime groups - have been arrested during raids in six European countries and in the South American country of Suriname.
Wednesday's raids were the culmination of a two-year investigation codenamed Pollino against the powerful 'ndrangheta criminal group on allegations of cocaine trafficking, money laundering, bribery and violence, Eurojust said.
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS — In an investigation that underscored an Italian crime syndicate's role as a leading player in international cocaine trafficking, police in four countries arrested at least 84 suspected mobsters Wednesday in a series of carefully coordinated raids.
A leading expert on the 'ndrangheta, Catanzaro-based Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, recently said the Calabrian-based 'ndrangheta syndicate has for years been buying up hotels, restaurants and other properties in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany to both launder some of the billions of dollars it rakes in through cocaine trafficking, as well as invest that money to start "clean" businesses and earn even more revenue.
Eurojust described it as one of the most "powerful criminal networks in the world," and said it "controls much of Europe's cocaine trade, combined with systematic money laundering, bribery and violent acts."
"It's almost a cliche, but the operation carried out today confirms again the great danger of the 'ndrangheta, not just in drug trafficking, where it's the undisputed leader, but (also) in the financial sphere," said Francesco Ratta, a top police official in the southern Italian region of Calabria.