Cocaine and hashish in Milan: 23 arrests

Carabinieri make drugs sweep in Milan.

A major operation by the Carabinieri police has netted 23 members of a criminal organisation and over 300 kg of drugs.

For 16 of the criminals – all of them Italian – the next stop was a jail cell. Another six were put under house arrest, and one person was ordered to report daily to a police station to sign the register.

The crime syndicate had been observed bringing cocaine from Calabria using “mules” from ‘Ndrangheta groups, as well as hashish and marijuana from Spain.  Members of the gang delivered the drugs to customers in Milan and other cities in Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria regions, including direct home deliveries.

Investigators told media that customers included models and show-business personalities, former Grande Fratello (“Big Brother” TV reality show) competitors, TV presenters, restaurant owners and cooks in the centre of Milan and personalities in the world of fashion.

The gang had branches in Como, Monza, Novara, Reggio Emilia, Savona, Turing and Varese provinces.

As well as drug trafficking, the criminals also face charges of receiving stolen goods, illegal possession of firearms and false ownership of property.

A report by the parliamentary anti-mafia commission recently warned that penetration by organised crime groups is “deep and uniform, involving the majority of northern provinces, with particular intensity in Lombardy”.