Nine men with links to Italian mafia group ’Ndrangheta are being extradited to Italy, the justice ministry has told Swiss Public Television, SRF.
In recent years, Switzerland has made a number of arrests in cooperation with the Italian authorities. Many of the men, suspected for their membership in ’Ndrangheta, have since been in jail awaiting extradition. Based in Calabria, southern Italy, ’Ndrangheta is one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world.
Key to the investigation was hidden camera footage of a meeting in Frauenfeld, canton Thurgau, in northeastern Switzerland. The video shows 15 men discussing drugs and arms trafficking. It seems that the Thurgau off-shoot of the mafia has been in operation for 40 years.
For security reasons, the justice ministry has declined to say when, exactly, the men will be turned over to the Italian authorities. However, the turnover is expected to take place quite soon.
Between February and August, three other suspected mafia members were handed over to the Italian authorities.
In March 2016, 15 suspected Ndrangheta mafia members were arrested in a massive sting operation carried out in March 2016 in the cantons of Thurgau, Valais and Zurich.
The two from Valais have already been sentenced to six- and nine-year prison terms in Italy.