Italy arrests 33 'Chinese mafia' members

Screen grab of video shows the operation by Italian police Image copyright Italian police
Image caption The raids were carried out in several Italian cities

Thirty-three people have been arrested in Italy on suspicion of being members of the Chinese mafia, police say.

The early morning raids targeted a group accused of controlling the transport across Europe of products made in China and by Chinese in Italy.

The "China Truck" operation was part of an investigation which started in 2011.

The arrested suspects are accused of links to a criminal organisation. Police say 21 other people are under investigation.

The group started its operations in the Tuscan city of Prato and extended its influence to the capital Rome and also to Florence, Milan, Padua and Pisa, police said in a statement (in Italian).

They also acted in France and Spain, and were believed to be involved in other illegal activities such as prostitution and drug trafficking.

Image copyright Italian police
Image copyright Italian police

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