Traffickers and Mafia Caught in Cocaine Smuggling Operation
During February 2000, The DEA Rome Country Office (RCO) and Italian counterparts with the Guardia di Finanza (GDF) initiated an investigation targeting a maritime cocaine smuggling organization sending multi-ton quantities of cocaine from South America to Europe. This organization was comprised of Colombian and Italian nationals belonging to Italian organized crime including the Pugliese, N'Drangheta and Sicilian Mafia.
During this priority target investigation, telephone intercepts were conducted in Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Colombia that led to the seizure of 220 kilograms of cocaine in Athens in January 2001.
Beginning on May 29, 2003, the investigation culminated in the arrest of thirty-three individuals in Italy to include fourteen organized crime members in Sicily. All defendants are charged with international drug trafficking and mafia association. An additional twenty (20) targets are still being sought in Italy, Greece, Venezuela and Colombia.
The Athens Country Office assisted the RCO in this priority target investigation.