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Italy Mafia Uses Lotto to Launder Cocaine Income

Police say Italian mobsters are buying winning lotto tickets to launder millions of euros (dollars) in cocaine profits.

Carabinieri investigators in southern Calabria said Thursday that an euro8 million winning ticket in the national Superenalotto numbers game was sold in a smokeshop owned by the father-in-law of a suspect jailed in a drug probe.

Police said the 'ndrangheta offered the anonymous holder of the ticket euro8 million or a little less in dirty money. The winner avoided taxes on interest due had the windfall been deposited in a bank. The mobsters got an excuse to open a mega-account.

Italian law requires those making big deposits to prove the funds aren't illegal. Police seized millions of euros worth of assets from the jailed mob suspect.

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