Members of huge crime syndicate handed a combined 2,100 years in prison
An Italian tribunal sentenced 207 people to a combined 2,100 years in prison on charges related to their membership in the ’ndrangheta family.
The mafia group is one of the world’s most powerful, extensive and wealthy drug-trafficking groups.
It took over an hour and 40 minutes to read aloud the court’s lengthy verdict, including the acquittal of 131 other defendants.
The drama unfolded in a bunker-stye courtroom in the southern Calabria region, where the mob organization was originally based.
The ’ndrangheta quietly amassed power in Italy and abroad as the Sicilian Mafia lost influence and now holds almost a monopoly on cocaine importation in Europe, according to prosecutors.
The organization also has bases in North and South America and is active in Africa, Italian prosecutors claimed.
Figures connected to the group have also been arrested in recent years around Europe and in Brazil and Lebanon.
The defendants had been charged with crimes that include drug and arms trafficking, extortion and mafia association – a term in Italy’s penal code for members of organised crime groups.
Others were charged with acting in complicity with the ’ndrangheta without actually being a member.
The charges grew out of an investigation of 12 clans linked to a convicted ‘ndrangheta boss.
The central figure, Luigi Mancuso, served 19 years in an Italian prison for his role in leading what investigators allege is one of the ‘ndrangheta’s most powerful crime families, based in the town of Vibo Valentia.