Investigators: Rome's increasingly a strategic, operative base for southern Italian mobsters

Police in Rome seized more than 600 kilograms (1,320 pounds) of cocaine and hashish and fanned out to arrest 31 suspected mobsters in what they say further indicates the 'ndrangheta crime syndicate is making the Italian capital a strategic base for its global operations.

The 'ndrangheta still is rooted in Calabria, the "toe" of the Italian boot-shaped peninsula. But prosecutors said Tuesday its mobsters increasingly view "Rome as the future" for the syndicate's activities. The 'ndrangheta is a global cocaine trafficker which has increasingly turned to Rome and northern Italy to use legitimate businesses to launder illicit revenue.

Rome anti-Mafia Prosecutor Michele Prestipino told reporters: "Rome is considered strategic for the 'ndrangheta."

Tuesday's arrests came during a probe of the 2013 murder of a mob boss in Rome.