A grandmother’s tip-off over fears for her drug-addicted grandson has led anti-mafia police in Italy to arrest 33 people for alleged drug trafficking and for possession of illegal weapons in the southern region of Calabria.
The woman got in touch with police after her grandchild had become hooked on drugs sold by the Muto clan, which is part of the notorious Calabrian mafia group, the ‘Ndrangheta, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
Her tip-off allowed officers to smash open a drug ring overseen by the Muto from the town of Cetraro, where dealers allegedly openly peddled vast quantities of cocaine and other substances in the region’s town squares.
“The grandmother went to the Carabinieri (police) to ask them to save her grandson who was being devoured by the world of drugs,” Colonel Piero Sutera, commander of the local Carabinieri police force, told reporters on Wednesday.
During raids, officers seized at least two kilos of hashish, 700 grams of marijuana and also uncovered a secret drug bunker that was being built above a bathroom in one of the suspect’s homes.
On Wednesday, a total of 33 individuals were charged with narcotics production and possession, extortion, and the illegal possession of firearms, among other crimes, at the request of the anti-mafia prosecutor in the southern city Catanzaro.
Investigators said they had discovered some 250 instances of drug dealing by the clan, which relies on the narcotics trade as its core business and is one of the most powerful groups in the ‘Ndrangheta.
The Muto also has control over the local area’s fish market, as well as other services related to the tourism sector, including laundry, security surveillance and cleaning.
The busts are the latest in an ongoing crackdown against organized crime in Italy.
A huge “maxi trial” of 355 ‘Ndrangheta mafia suspects was launched in Calabria in January this year, Italy’s largest such trial for more than 30 years.
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