Italy and Austria smash mafia arms trafficking ring

weapons ,arms trafficking
Guns seized by Italian antimafia police in a crackdown on the Camorra
Italy and Austria smash mafia arms trafficking ring

Policemen inspect guns seized during a crackdown on the Camorra mafia on September 30, 2008 in Caserta, southern Italy. Police made nearly 30 arrests in the Naples area as part of a crackdown on the Camorra mafia following the killings of an Italian businessman and six African immigrants and a separate crackdown was also carried out in the Caserta region, north of Naples, against the Casalesi clan, blamed for dozens of deaths over the past three decades. AFP PHOTO / NUNZIO MARI (Photo by NUNZIO MARI / AFP)

Italy and Austria have broken up an international arms trafficking ring that supplied the Camorra organised crime group with 800 guns including “weapons of war.”




Italy and Austria smash mafia arms trafficking ring

Authorities arrested 22 people, including a father and son team of Austrian gunsmiths, who illegally supplied the Naples-based syndicate with weapons that had their serial numbers removed, officials said on Tuesday.

“This clan armed itself to start a war with other clans,” Naples prosecutor Ivana Fulco told a news conference at the EU judicial agency Eurojust, in The Hague.

The year-long Italian investigation involved the arrests of several Camorra couriers, with the trail eventually leading to the two Austrian gunsmiths, she said.

The Austrians are known to have sold more than 800 new pistols to the Italian mafia group as well as 50 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 10 ‘Scorpion’ submachine guns, worth a total of 500,000 euros.

Nearly 100 further weapons and a “huge” quantity of ammunition were found hidden in several premises in Austria, Eurojust said.

“Some of these are weapons of war,” said Filippo Spiezia, the national member for Italy at Eurojust.
One of the arrests was in France, where the Camorra network was also trying to buy weapons, prosecutor Fulco said.

The Camorra is one of Italy’s three main organised crime groups, along with Sicily’s Cosa Nostra, commonly known as the mafia, and the ‘Ndrangheta, centred in the Calabria region.

In December Eurojust announced the arrest of around 90 suspected ‘Ndrangheta mobsters in six countries in Europe and South America.

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