British Mafia Arrests in Europe

Police in Britain, Spain and the Republic of Ireland have arrested 32 people in raids against an alleged major British mafia group with links to Western European crime.

Among those detained is Christy “Godfather” Kinahan who is accused of leading the group.

The Briton, 53, was arrested with his sons in Malaga, Spain.

The British mafia network is suspected of trafficking large quantities of drugs and firearms and of laundering hundreds of millions of pounds as well as of involvement in extortion, protection racket, savage beatings and torture, UK officials said.

Twenty people were arrested in Spain, 11 in the UK, and one in Ireland.

Limited impact

The raids are unlikely to deal a “major blow” to a group “suspected of supplying drugs and guns to gangs in cities across the UK and Europe”.

It is also believed this British mafia network has been offering a global investment service, ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds of dirty cash into offshore accounts, companies and property on behalf of criminals all over the world.

Some 750 police officers were involved in the raids, which were co-ordinated from London, Dublin and Malaga.

Officers also searched property in Belgium, Cyprus and Brazil.

Spanish police arrested Mr Kinahan together with his family, other British and Irish suspects and four Spanish lawyers.

The raids follow a two-year investigation that included surveillance and monitoring of the British mafia group’s finances.

But the operation will have only a limited impact on the rapidly expanding activities of the British mafia in Europe and in the world.

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