A dissident Irish Republican Army (IRA) militant has been arrested in Reggio Callabria, in the South of Italy, as part of a Mafia sting operation.
Twenty people were arrested, including the IRA man, as well as British, Spanish and Italian businessmen. The arrests were part of a sting named “Operation Metropolis” against the Aquino and Morabito 'Ndrangheta organized crime families.
According to Gazzetta Del Sud, an Italian newspaper, the IRA sent the arrested man to launder money with the help of these organized crime families. The IRA first made contact with Neapolitan Camorra and the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta families in 2007 or 2008. The Irish dissidents have also laundered money through Spanish organized crime elements.
The crime boss Rocco Morabito, son of Giuseppe Morabito aka “U Tiradrittu,” was among those arrested on suspicion of criminal conspiracy and money laundering. Agents seized assets worth €450 million. They seized 12 companies and 17 tourist complexes in Calabria where the ‘Ndrangheta have allegedly invested money in “legitimate” businesses to be laundered.
This sting was led by Nicola Gratteri, a veteran anti-Mafia prosecutor, who has tracked the ‘Ndrangheta’s growth of their network - reinvesting the profits from narcotics, arms trafficking and other sources estimated at ten of billions of euros a year.