Cash-strapped Italian Mafia cuts spending on drug pushers and family support

On the streets of Rome crime doesn’t pay – or at least not like it once did.

One of the city’s most feared local mafia clans has been forced to cut spending after 37 of its alleged members were arrested by police in recent raids.

The Cordaro clan has cut daily payments to drug pushers and financial aid for jailed members and their families, according to prosecutors involved in the latest chapter of Rome’s ‘Mafia Capitale’ investigation.

The clan, known for its violent domination of Rome’s Tor Bella Monaca district, has been linked to several murders and major drug trafficking by police and prosecutors.

Disgruntled associates have been recorded by police complaining about cutbacks ordered by Natasha Cordaro, who took over the clan’s financial operations after her husband, Valentino Iuliano, was arrested on July 5.

Thirty-year-old Cordaro began by cutting clan payments to the families of jailed members from €150 a week to only €50 a week, according to the Italian daily, Il Messaggero.

“€150 plus 150 makes €300 a fortnight,” Michela Bucceri complained on a visit to her jailed mother, Elena, in a telephone tap recorded by police. “I am missing out on €200, they have taken it off me.”

Cordaro also cut daily payments from €80 to €70 per day to drug pushers who work for the clan in the crime-ridden neighborhood on the city’s outskirts.

“I have responsibilities,” Cordaro reportedly told pushers. “I am counting on €3,000 but you are only bringing me €900, what should I do? I have 15 families I’m carrying on my shoulders.”

She was recorded threatening one subordinate who complained.

“It is a crisis, it’s better you realise that. If not I will cut your throat,” she said.

Thirty-seven alleged members of the clan were arrested in dawn raids in the crime-ridden neighbourhood on July 5.

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