The FBI and the Italian Police arrested 24 persons suspected of being members of a heroin and cocaine trafficking group linking Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta syndicate with the notorious Gambino and Bonanno crime families in the U.S.
After several raids in the U.S., Italy and Canada, the police authorities arrested 17 people in Italy and 7 people in New York, while at least 40 more people were informed that they are under investigation. Among the suspects there was a 42 year-old man from Greece, Christos Fasarakis.
As reported by the FBI the suspects are accused of drug trafficking, money laundering and firearm-related offenses. The Greek suspect who was working in Alma Bank, in Brooklyn is accused of money laundering of more than 500,000 dollars — all proceeds of narcotics and illegal weapons trafficking. Fasarakis is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.
“The criminal groups collaborated in order to create a cocaine and heroin trafficking network between the United States and Italy,” said George Venizelos, head of the FBI in New York.
Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney stated that ‘Ndrangheta is a particulary dangerous, sophisticated, and insidious criminal organization with tentacles stretching from Italy to countries across the world.
During a press conference in Rome, a U.S. Attorney Marshall Miller reported that ‘Ndrangheta was trying to gain power in the New York area and the United States, adding that “this operation strikes at the heart of international organized crime.”
Raffaele Grassi, head of the Italian police’s central operative service unit said that the criminal group is trying to expand its activities beyond the Italian borders and penetrate new markets.