Murder, attempted murder, drug trafficking, extortion, illegal possession of weapons, trafficking in stolen goods. It is only part of the huge list of charges against the Ndrangheta members.
Most of the suspects were arrested in late 2019 after a massive police operation. According to Italy correspondent Anouk Boone, as the trial begins, maximum security measures have been taken. “A special bunker has been built for the lawsuit on an industrial estate, the largest in Europe with more than three thousand square meters.”
The Ndrangheta is the most powerful mafia organization in Italy. They focus on extortion, kidnappings and are a major party in the arms and cocaine trade. Characteristic of the Ndrangheta is the blood connection.
Originally it is a family, supplemented with by-laws and related relatives. The family’s influence is far-reaching: the group has also infiltrated the Netherlands. A former mafia leader of the organization even ranked the Netherlands among the most important countries where the clan is active. This is mainly due to the port of Rotterdam.
Boone: The Ndrangheta is one of the world’s major cocaine traffickers. You would rather think of cartels from Mexico and Colombia, but it is the mafia that smuggles drugs into Europe from Colombia. The port of Rotterdam is used as one of the drug routes.
Politicians, lawyers and leaders
The suspects were arrested in more European countries. The list of names shows how far the influence of the Ndrangheta reaches. For example, politician Giancarlo Pittelli is on trial. Pittelli was, among other things, a parliamentarian for Forza Italia, the party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Pittelli isn’t the only Italian name on the list. Lawyer Giulio Calabretta, former mayor Salvatore Rizzo and Luigi Mancuso, leader of the organization, are also in court.
According to Boone, it shows how deeply rooted the influence of the Ndrangheta is in the Italian system. The mafia is popping up everywhere and this organization in particular transcends the country itself. They are active in other countries to launder their money. ”
The Italians themselves see the Ndrangheta as the most dangerous mafia organization in the country. Boone: “The structure of this organization is less hierarchical than that of other mafia groups. As a result, they can move more easily and apparently adhere less to honor codes. That makes for a relentless reputation. ”
Taking advantage of corona
More than 350 members of that powerful organization are now in custody, but Boone says that will not shake the Ndrangheta. In fact, over the past year, the power of the Italian mafia has risen before.
Boone: “They have gained ground due to the pandemic. Although they too had to cease operations due to a slowing economy, they have benefited from the many small businesses in financial need. The government does not respond adequately to this and so the mafia is rattling at the gate. ”
In this earlier report you can see that young people are also recruited to join the mafia:
” Companies are borrowed or bought up for a fraction of the actual value. The price for this is high: loyalty to the mafia ”.
According to Boone, this lawsuit has little long-term effect on the influence and power of the Ndrangheta. “A large clan is now falling, but a new clan will replace it.”
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