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Organisation akin to Fort Knox says 'Ndrangheta detainee

Valente thought to head up US arm of presumed drugs ring

11 February, 18:58
Organisation akin to Fort Knox says 'Ndrangheta detainee (see previous) (ANSA) - Rome, February 11 - A man arrested on Tuesday in a joint Italy-US operation against the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate and related mafia families in the United States described his organisation as "well armed" and with a base comparable to the famously well-defended US gold depository of Fort Knox, magistrates said. Raffaele Valente, who investigators believe is at the head of the US arm of a presumed international drug trafficking and money-laundering ring, made the comments on January 17 during a recorded conversation in New York.

During the conversation the magistrates said Valente boasted of occupying a "position of authority within the family" and said that he was with people who could "crush the others underfoot". On Tuesday Italian police and the FBI arrested 26 people for suspected involvement in international drug trafficking activities aimed at opening up a new cocaine route from Guyana in South America to Europe via the Calabrian port of Gioia Tauro.