Police in the state of Brescia in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy have made 35 arrests targeting a criminal organisation that imported large quantities of cocaine and hashish into the country.
The arrests led to the dismantling of a gang suspected of drug trafficking, possession and sale of narcotic substances, causing deliberate injury, robbery, kidnapping and possession of weapons.
The operation, codenamed “Kitchen”, was carried out by agents based in Alessandria, Como, Monza and Brianza, Pavia, Ferrara and Verona in collaboration with authorities in Belgium, Albania, Germany, Spain and Romania.
Among those arrested on Monday morning were several Moroccan and Italian citizens.
The gang is suspected of importing around 8 kg of cocaine per month, with a wholesale value of around two-and-a-half million euros per year.
Surveillance videos released by the police showed the gang stashing its drug shipments in the attic of laundromat in Brescia.
During the investigation, police documented several transfers of narcotic drugs which, on one occasion, involved four kilos of cocaine with the payment of 130 thousand euros.
The initial focus of the investigation centred on a North African gang trafficking significant quantities of hashish into Italy but expanded to include surveillance of four Albanian citizens and one Romanian who had been imported cocaine from Holland, Italian police said in a statement.
The investigators also documented some criminal episodes among the suspects such as beatings with clubs and iron bars, as well as knife and acid attacks.
During the investigation, which began in October 2017, 11 people were arrested in the act of crime and seized about 5 kilos of cocaine and 80 kilos of hashish.