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UK/Spain News

Italian mobsters arrested in Campo and Costa raids

Members of a violent branch of Italy’s Camorra crime group have been arrested in the Costa del Sol and the Campo de Gibraltar, accused of stealing drugs from other gangs, the Guardia Civil said yesterday.

The “Maranella” clan was accused of robbing other organised crime groups and transporting cannabis resin from Spain for sale in Rome.

The Guardia Civil said the Italians worked together a group of British men based in the Campo area to obtain and store the cannabis resin in an underground hideout discovered in the El Zabal neighbourhood.

A statement from the Guardia Civil said: "To carry out these thefts, members of this organisation used extreme violence, not hesitating to use firearms to kidnap other area drug traffickers.”

The drugs were then transported to Italy by road, with a man and a woman often hired to appear as if they were on a holiday to avoid detection from authorities.

Fourteen individuals have been arrested on suspicion of drug offences and another seven are being investigated.

Those arrested were of various nationalities including Italians, British, Spanish, Dominican and Romanian, with some wanted in their home country for more serious crimes.

This group were led by a father and two sons who were based in the Costa del Sol and were said to belong to the “Banda della Maranella” in Italy.

More than half a tonne of cannabis resin was seized by authorities in various operations across Spain, Italy and France. Six cars and one caravan have also been taken.

The Camorra, which is based in the Naples area, 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.