Several Italian mafia bosses have been released from prison under a new coronavirus regulation, the country’s national anti-mafia prosecutor said.
Organised crime is already giving food parcels to the poor in Italy and Mexico. For the cartels and syndicates, this crisis is an opportunity
Pestilence presents a moment of great opportunity for many businesses.
Consider the speed at which contracts are put out to tender to meet extraordinary needs. Consider the ability to move goods and money without all the normal checks or legal and bureaucratic protocols. Plague is a boon for the commercial class.
The art of profit is based on exploiting need, and no one has perfected that dark art better than organised crime. The Covid-19 pandemic is already demonstrating this. With their usual business acumen, criminal organisations have, in recent decades, invested in a number of companies that have turned out to be very relevant to the present crisis: multi-service businesses (catering, cleaning or disinfection), industrial laundries, transport, funeral homes, waste collection, food distribution – and the health. All of these sectors have become fundamental to our survival over recent weeks, and will probably remain so for a good while.
In Italy, police have already raised the alarm about mafia cartels’ investment in the production and distribution of “epidemic kits”, comprising masks, hand sanitiser and latex gloves. These products are today almost impossible to find, and the sudden overwhelming demand (surely destined to continue over the coming months) has caused prices to skyrocket.
For the Calabrian mafia, the ’ndrangheta, this would be familiar territory: for years it made capital investments in the pharmaceutical and healthcare products sectors. In March 2016, it was revealed that the ’ndrangheta had been working aggressively to establish itself in medical and pharmaceutical industries across Lombardy – which became Italy’s Covid-19 “Ground Zero” – even dispatching cartel operatives and their relatives to qualify in medicine, nursing and pharmacology.
Supporters of Turkish mafia leaders have entered into a war of words following a penal reform that would release a large number of people held in Turkish prisons.
Prisoner releases have begun in Turkey after a law was passed that will see as many as 90,000 inmates set free to reduce the coronavirus pandemic’s threat to the country’s overcrowded prisons.
A notorious convicted mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı, known for his close ties to Nationalist Movement Party, is among those who will enjoy the parole, according to Turkish media.
Following the reports, supporters of Çakıcı took to Twitter to threaten his rival Sedat Peker, a hard-line Turkish nationalist convicted of crimes including establishing a criminal organisation.
Çakıcı, who was a household name in the 1980s as a mob boss, was indicted in 1995 for contracting the killing of his wife in front of their son before fleeing abroad. Following his 1998 extradition from France, Çakıcı was released from prison in 2002. In 2004 Çakıcı was extradited again, this time from Austria, and has been in prison ever since, convicted of various charges including organising and leading a crime syndicate, instigating murder, and insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Sicilian procession for brother of Cosa Nostra boss Luigi Sparacio claimed to have broken Covid-19 safety laws
Italian prosecutors are investigating the funeral of the brother of a former Sicilian mafia boss for allegedly breaching Italy’s coronavirus lockdown.
Photographs showed a funeral procession in Messina attended by dozens of people. Family and friends gathered on the streets to accompany the coffin carrying Rosario Sparacio, 70, the older brother of Luigi Sparacio, who was considered one of the most important heads of the Cosa Nostra in the 1990s and who eventually turned supergrass.
The news, first reported by the newspaper La Gazzetta del Sud, has sparked a row in Italy where since the beginning of March a government decree has banned all religious gatherings, including funerals and weddings, in order to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In the cities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, coffins are awaiting burial, held in churches, and the corpses of those who have died at home are being kept in sealed rooms.
CHICAGO (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic that has crippled big-box retailers and mom and pop shops worldwide may be making a dent in illicit business, too.
In Chicago, one of America’s most violent cities, drug arrests have plummeted 42% in the weeks since the city shut down, compared with the same period last year. Part of that decrease, some criminal lawyers say, is that drug dealers have no choice but to wait out the economic slump.
“The feedback I’m getting is that they aren’t able to move, to sell anything anywhere,” said Joseph Lopez, a criminal lawyer in Chicago who represents reputed drug dealers.