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Eurojust assists Italian operation against camorra-type criminal organisation

The Hague, 4 May 2011

Eurojust facilitated the co-ordination between Italian and Spanish judicial authorities in an ongoing investigation that started in 2007 against a transnational criminal organisation; 33 suspects were arrested.

On 3 May, an investigation carried out by the Direzione Distrettuale Antimafia and the Carabinieri of Naples (Italy) reached a particularly successful outcome. 33 domestic arrest orders were carried out within the framework of Operation “Polvere”, an investigation targeting the criminal camorra cartel led by Giuseppe Polverino (aka O’ Barone).

The Polverino criminal organisation is very powerful on Italian territory and has strong links to Spain. Its leader, Giuseppe Polverino, is still at large. The 33 suspects arrested are accused of several crimes, ranging from criminal association to attempted murder, extortion, illicit possession of weapons, drug dealing and trafficking, money laundering, etc.

Giuseppe Polverino’s entrepreneurial skills allowed the criminal organisation to acquire a monopoly on the Italian hashish market and invest the proceeds of such crime in “legitimate” activities such as real estate and the food industry. Mr Polverino also established excellent contacts with Moroccan hashish traffickers residing in Spain, giving its organisation a transnational nature.

For this reason, the Italian authorities asked for the assistance of their Spanish counterparts. In particular, the contributions of the Juzgado Central de Instruccion n. 6 of the Audiencia Nacional of Madrid and of the Unidad Central Operativa of the Spanish Guardia Civil were crucial for the investigation.

The co-operation between Italy and Spain was made possible by the co-ordination activity of the Italian and the Spanish Desks at Eurojust, along with the Italian Liaison Magistrate in Madrid.

Mr Lo Voi, Italian National Member at Eurojust, commented: “Eurojust set up a link through which the Italian and Spanish authorities were permanently connected, which helped achieve a good result in Operation “Polvere”.”

Mr Spiezia, Italian Deputy National Member at Eurojust, stated: “Eurojust’s intervention facilitated the surrender from Spain to Italy of Domenico Verde, who was under investigation in both countries. Mr Verde subsequently chose to co-operate with the Italian investigators; his contribution was crucial to the investigations and Mr Verde was placed under protection in line with the Italian legislation for the protection of persons co-operating with justice, mainly in the area of organised crime.”

For more information, please contact:

Mr Joannes THUY, Spokesperson - Head of Press & PR Service
EUROJUST, Maanweg 174, 2516 AB, The Hague, the Netherlands
Tel +31 70 412 5508
E-mail: jthuy[AT]eurojust.europa.eu