German police have arrested a man suspected of being a member of the Calabrian mafia in a joint operation with their Italian counterparts. The suspect is alleged to have trafficked drugs from South America to Europe.
The man had escaped earlier arrest by Italian authorities
German police have arrested a 51-year-old man on an international arrest warrant for suspected drugs trafficking and links with the mafia.
He is suspected by police in the western city of Duisburg of shipping drugs from Latin America to the Calabria region of southern Italy - dividing his time between Europe and South America. The man is alleged to have been working for the Pelle clan of the 'Ndrangheta branch of the mafia, which German officials were investigating in collaboration with their Italian colleagues.
Scrutiny of the mob has increased since the 2007 killings outside a restaurant
'Ndrangheta is the biggest Italian criminal syndicate operating in Germany, with more than half of the 200 suspected mafia members in the country believed to be affiliated with it.
Scores of suspects arrested earlier
The suspect, who runs a pizzeria in Duisburg, has been wanted since December 2, 2010 when he managed to evade raids in Italy that led to the arrests of 87 suspected criminals, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.
Officers said he had been moving between Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The arrest took place in a pizzeria in the city of Oberhausen, near Duisburg.
German police officers tightened their surveillance on members of the 'Ndrangheta after a shootout in Duisburg in 2007, in which six Italian nationals were killed outside a restaurant.
Author: Richard Connor (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Rick Demarest