19 'Ndrangheta drug arrests (2)

500 kg of cocaine seized heading for Rome

(ANSA) - Rome, October 10 - Italian police on Tuesday arrested 19 people linked to suspected drug trafficking between South America and Italy run by the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta mafia.
    A Roman broker, Mauro De Bernardis, was said to be the ringleader of the gang that allegedly brought cocaine to Italy hidden inside the catering containers of airlines.
    The coke was headed for the Italian capital, police said.
    'Ndrangheta, Italy's richest and most powerful mafia, controls the European cocaine trade.
    'Ndrangheta (from a Greek word meaning 'heroism' or 'virtue') once lived in the twin shadow of Cosa Nostra in Sicily and the Camorra in Naples.
    While those two syndicates, notably the Sicilians, were feeding off the transatlantic heroin trade through operations like the infamous 'French connection', 'Ndrangheta was only just emerging from its traditional stock-in-trade of kidnappings in the Calabrian highlands.