Hundreds of police in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands arrested at least 84 suspected mobsters and seized around two million euros ($3 million Cdn) on Wednesday in a series of co-ordinated raids targeting a powerful branch of the Italian Mafia.
European law enforcement agencies jointly launched Operation Pollino in 2016, looking to put a dent in the 'Ndrangheta's criminal operations.
Operation Pollino was co-ordinated by Eurojust, the EU's cross-border justice authority, which described it as a "decisive" intervention against organised crime.
More than 80 people with suspected links to the 'Ndrangheta Mafia - considered one of the world's largest organized crime groups - have been arrested during raids in six European countries and in the South American country of Suriname.
Officials said by midday of the operation, nearly 4,000 kilos of cocaine and hundreds of kilos of other drugs were seized.
Specifically, over three tonnes of cocaine and 140kg of ecstasy were seized in the coordinated raids, with several mafia-owned Italian restaurants and ice cream parlours stormed.
Eurojust said those detained are suspected of drug trafficking, money laundering, bribery, and violence.
"We send a clear message to organised crime groups across Europe".
The Mafia group hails from Calabria, the region that forms the tip of Italy's boot, and has made substantial inroads in European countries.
But he warned that it was "just a first step", saying the arrests were "nothing for the 'Ndrangheta, there are thousands of people who should be arrested and billions that should be seized".
It has surpassed Sicily's Cosa Nostra and the Naples-based Camorra in influence thanks to its control of the cocaine trade, and is the sole mafia organisation to operate on all continents, according to anti-mafia prosecutors.
Early-morning raids took place in Italy, the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, as well as in Belgium and the Netherlands.
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