Luck helps: Italian mobsters buy winning lotto tickets to launder millions in cocaine cash

ROME (AP) — 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 €8 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 €8 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.