Policemen stand in front of one of the entrances of Casale San Nicola, north of Rome, on July 17, 2015. AFP/ALBERTO PIZZOLI
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Italian police said Wednesday they had seized assets worth 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) belonging to a powerful organized crime syndicate, in the latest sting against the mafia.The assets snatched from the 'Ndrangheta mafia, which controls much of Europe's cocaine trade, included more than 1,500 betting shops, 82 online gambling sites and almost 60 companies, as well as numerous properties, the police said.Prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 28 people suspected of running the gambling empire and placed 23 others either under house arrest or ordered them to check in with the police.The 'Ndrangheta is considered the most powerful crime syndicate in Italy, having surpassed Sicily's Cosa Nostra and the Naples-based Camorra thanks to the wealth it has amassed as the principal importer and wholesaler of cocaine produced in Latin America and smuggled into Europe via north Africa and southern Italy.
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