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    Police arrest 84 in European crackdown on Italian mob

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands — In an investigation that underscored an Italian crime syndicate’s role as a leading player in international cocaine trafficking, police in four countries arrested at least 84 suspected mobsters Wednesday in a series of carefully coordinated raids.

    Those detained allegedly work for the Italian ‘ndrangheta criminal network that traffics in cocaine on a global scale.

    ‘‘It’s almost a cliche, but the operation carried out today confirms again the great danger of the ‘ndrangheta, not just in drug trafficking, where it’s the undisputed leader, but in the financial sphere,’’ said Francesco Ratta, a top police official in the southern Italian region of Calabria.

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    It was the second significant mob takedown in as many days. On Tuesday, Italian authorities said they had dismantled the rebuilt upper echelons of the Mafia in the Sicilian capital of Palermo by arresting 46 people, including the man presumed to have taken over as kingpin.

    associated press