More than 300 people arrested in huge Italian mob crackdown

The 'Ndrangheta is based in the southern region of Calabria, the toe of Italy's boot, and has surpassed Sicily's more famous Cosa Nostra to become the most powerful mafia group in the country -- and one of the largest crime gangs in the world.

Police said they seized hundreds of suspects in early morning swoops around the country, with some arrests also carried out in Germany, Switzerland and Bulgaria.

Amongst the possible charges facing those detained were mafia conspiracy, murder, extortion, loan sharking, corporate fraud and money laundering.

Italian investigators say the group, which is made up of dozens of smaller clans that all answer nominally to senior leaders in Calabria, is now Europe's top cocaine broker.