National Police officers broke into a number of safes containing contraband. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter - R.S.

The police Operation Casino, which was carried out in Mallorca this week, has uncovered close links between the Mallorcan Mafia operation and some of the largest and most powerful Mafia in the world.

Operation Casino was directed at a Mafia group based on the island that has laundered millions of euros over two decades – the proceeds from drug trafficking and prostitution.
According to police sources, the Mafia based in Mallorca worked in cooperation with The ‘Ndrangheta - a prominent Italian Mafia-type organised crime syndicate and criminal society based in the peninsular and mountainous region of Calabria and dating back to the late 18th century.

It is considered to be the most powerful organised crime group in the world and since the 1950s, following wide-scale emigration from Calabria, the organisation has established itself worldwide. In 2013 it purportedly made €53 billion according to a study from Demoskopika Research Institute.

A US diplomat estimated that the organisation’s narcotics trafficking, extortion and money laundering activities accounted for at least three per cent of Italy’s GDP in 2010.

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The other Mallorcan connection was with the Sacra Corona Unita based in southern Italy.

The Sacra Corona Unita was founded in 1988. Originally preying on the wine and olive oil industries, the group moved into cigarette smuggling, arms trafficking, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, extortion, and political corruption. According to a survey conducted by the Eurispes, the main sources of income of the organisation are: drug trafficking - €878 million per year, prostitution - €775 million per year, arms trafficking - €516 million per year and extortion - €351 million per year.

On Tuesday, Operation Casino, involving agents from the FBI and the DEA as well as the UK’s National Crime Agency, was launched simultaneously in Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Croatia and the UK.

A total of 80 searches of houses and businesses were carried out and 45 arrests were made; some 600 police officers were deployed.

In Majorca specifically, there were 15 searches of hotels, restaurants, homes and other addresses and at least eight people have been arrested on the island, along with scores across the world as a result of an investigation dating back to 2018.