US & Canada

Cocaine ring run from New York pizzeria smashed

Italian Police and U.S. FBI agents take in custody a man suspected of belonging to the "ndargheta criminal syndicate, during a police operation, in Sinopoli, southern Italy, early Thursday morning Image copyright AP
Image caption Thirteen men have been arrested in southern Italy

US and Italian agents have dismantled a cocaine trafficking network run from a New York pizzeria, police have said.

Among several arrests was Gregorio Gigliotti, the operation's alleged kingpin and who ran the "Cucino A Modo Mio" (I Cook My Way) restaurant.

Also detained were 13 Italian men with links to organised crime, in the southern Italian region of Calabria.

The region is the base of the `Ndrangheta crime syndicate, which has been growing in influence.

Those arrested were accused of organising cocaine shipments from Latin America to the US and Europe.

Police seized a number of weapons from the pizzeria, as well as about 60kg (132lb) of cocaine, in the run-up to the arrests.

The 'Ndrangheta has become the most powerful of Italy's mafia groups, analysts say, due to its role in the cocaine trade.

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