The Italian mafia has hundreds of members in Germany pulling strings in the international drug trade. The latest major trial shows how lengthy legal procedures and lenient verdicts are no match for organized crime.
Fourteen defendants face an array of charges in court in the western German city of Düsseldorf, and the main ones pertain to the trafficking and sale of cocaine. Well over half a ton of cocaine: 680 kilograms (1,499 pounds) all told, being sold at prices of up to €36,000 (roughly $43,000) per kilo.
Five are suspected members of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta syndicate and all 14 reside in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Their passports reveal NRW’s ‘Ndrangheta as an international employer: Italian, German, Dutch, Turkish, Moroccan, Portuguese. Translators from Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey are on hand in court.