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NEWS 14 November 2018

Italy arrests 68 online gambling mafia members

By Nathan Joyes

More than €1bn worth of assets has been seized spanning across 12 countries, which included a football team.

Italy’s anti-mafia police arrested 68 suspected mobsters in a large scale international operation on organised crime groups that had come together to make millions of euros through online gambling.

The 68 arrested have been accused of mafia association, money laundering, fraud and tax dodging. A total of 800 police officers played their part in making the arrests.

The groups caught had been making deals with businesses in the online betting world, allowing them to recycle large quantities of money through illegal parallel circuits on betting platforms in exchange for promotion and protection.

Some of those who had been arrested had posted their assets onto social media. The images revealed the mobsters showing off Rolex watches and Ferraris, eating in posh restaurants and gambling in Las Vegas.

Goods and cash were apprehended in Albania, Austria, Great Britain, Germany, the Isle of Man, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Romania, Serbia, the Seychelles and Switzerland. 

Federico Cafiero de Raho, the Police Unit’s Head, said: “We can see from ongoing investigations how the mafias work together in different sectors. We still need to establish whether there is a fixed leadership or if the deals change depending on the territories involved.”

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