Major operation targets ’embedded’ ‘Ndrangheta gangsters’ in Rome (11) – English

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(ANSA) – ROME, MAY 10 – Police on Tuesday staged a massive operation in Rome and other parts of Lazio and the southern region of Calabria linked to an investigation by the National Antimafia Investigation Directorate (DIA ) on the criminal activities of the ‘Ndrangheta.

Police executed warrants limiting the freedom of 43 people, some of whom are accused of belonging to a Roman branch of the ‘Ndrangheta based in Calabria and established in the capital.

This section of the crime syndicate allegedly sought to take control of legal businesses in industries ranging from fishmongers, bakeries and pastry shops to recycling used leather and cooking oil.

In the Calabria operation linked to the investigation, 29 people were taken to prison and five were placed under house arrest.

Among them, Antonino Gioffé, mayor of the town of Cosoleto, in the province of Reggio Calabria.

Agricultural group Coldiretti said criminal activity in the food sector, ranging from bakeries to fishmongers, had reached 24.5 billion euros a year.

In the Roman part of the operation, police said the ‘ndrina (Chapter 9 involved) was led by two bosses who got the go-ahead from the mother clan in Calabria, Antonio Carzo and Vincenzo Alvaro, both members of the families historical ‘Ndrangheta of Casoleto and Sinopoli in the province of Reggio Calabria.

A police wiretap caught Alvaro saying “we are a war caravan,” police said.

In Calabria, the main members of the ‘cosca’ of Alvaro de Sinopoli were arrested, including Carmelo Alvarao alias “Bin Laden”, Carmine Alvaro alias “u cuvertuni”, considered the leader of Sinopoli, and the local leaders of Cosoleto , Francesco Alvaro alias “ciccio testazza”, Antonio Alvaro alias “u massaru”, Nicola Alvaro alias “u beccausu” and Domenico Carzo alias “scarpacotta”.

The individuals arrested and charged said “we in Rome are an offshoot of there (in Calabria),” a recorded police wiretap.

Police said some 24 businesses, restaurants, bars and fishmongers in northern Rome and in particular the Primavalle district had been seized.

‘Ndrangheta has spread from its Calabrian heartland to the rest of Italy, Europe and around the world, and is considered Italy’s richest and most powerful mafia due to its control of European trade cocaine from South America.

‘Ndrangheta (from a Greek word meaning ‘heroism’ or ‘virtue’) once lived in the twin shadow of Cosa Nostra in Sicily and the Camorra in Naples.

While these two syndicates, notably the Sicilians, preyed on transatlantic heroin trafficking through operations like the infamous “French connection”, the “Ndrangheta was barely emerging from its traditional highland kidnapping business. Calabrian.

It has since grown into a highly sophisticated global network with a grip on the European cocaine trade and control over swathes of its homeland where police are afraid to tread, Italian officials say.

As well as being the wealthiest, ‘Ndrangheta is also considered the most inscrutable of the Italian mafias, with its close-knit family organization surpassing the Sicilian mafia in its ability to thwart police efforts to turn its members into witnesses to the crime. ‘State.

European law enforcement agency Europol has identified the ‘Ndrangheta mafia as one of the “most threatening” organized crime groups globally, due to their “enormous financial might” and “tremendous power to corruption”, with a presence in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Colombia and Australia, where the ‘Ndrangheta turf wars have headlines.

In Europe, ‘Ndrangheta didn’t really come into the public eye until 2007, when six members of the clan were gunned down during a summer vacation from Ferragosto in the German city of Duisburg in a feud that began with a marriage. in a small Calabrian coastal town, San Lucas, in 1991.

A series of businesses linked to the ‘Ndrangheta have been seized in recent years throughout northern Italy, and in particular in the wealthy Lombardy belt around Milan, and a regional councilor in Lombardy has been the subject of an investigation for buying votes from transplanted clans.

On the Italian Riviera, the municipal councils of Bordighera and Ventimiglia were dissolved for the infiltration of ‘Ndrangheta in 2011 and 2012, the first non-Calabrian municipalities to be dissolved due to such penetration.

In Rome, the Calabrian mafia laundered money from a series of plum properties, as evidenced by recent foreclosures according to police, which are just the tip of the iceberg.

The biggest ‘Ndrangheta trial of all time started in Lamezia Terme in January 2021.

The trial looks at the activities of the ‘Ndrangheta clans in Vibo Valentia and their links to the rogue political, institutional, economic and Masonic worlds controlling all aspects of local life in Calabria.

It is the biggest Mafia trial in Italy since the so-called Cosa Nostra ‘maxi-trial’ in Sicily from 1986 to 1992.

The trial, which is expected to last about three years, has more than 300 defendants facing more than 400 charges.

The defendants include local politicians, businessmen, police officers and other institutional figures accused of helping ‘Ndrangheta dominate Calabrian life.

This trial handed down its first convictions against Calabrian gangsters and their clients in November.

In January 2015, police arrested more than 160 people in the largest-ever operation against a commercial branch in northern ‘Ndrangheta.

The operation showed the extent to which former kidnapping gangs from the south had infiltrated the economy of Italy’s wealthier regions, including the booming economy of Reggio Emilia around Bologna.

Other probes showed increased infiltration of ‘Ndrangheta in the Milan region, Lombardy, the Genoa region, Liguria, and the Turin region, Piedmont.

In February 2014, a major Italian FBI arrest showed that ‘Ndrangheta was involved in the drug operations of one of New York’s five historic Cosa Nostra families, the Gambinos.

Previously, in July 2010, a massive police operation targeted the leader of the ‘Ndrangheta and 300 other people.

Domenico Oppedisano, 80, anointed the equivalent of the ‘boss of bosses’ at Cosa Nostra at a Calabrian Madonna shrine a year before, was captured along with their renowned Lombardy leader Pino Neri.

‘Ndrangheta is so secret that Oppedisano’s replacement is still unknown. (ANSA).

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