Tag Archives: italy

No Italy ‘baby bonus’ for Mafia boss’s daughter Lucia Riina

Sicilian authorities have refused to pay Italy’s “baby bonus” to the youngest daughter of jailed Mafia boss Toto Riina, 36-year-old Lucia.

A painter, Lucia lives in Corleone and gave birth earlier this month.

Salvatore “Toto” Riina, former boss of the notorious Cosa Nostra, was jailed in 1993 and now has terminal cancer.

Italy’s top court ruled this month that he had a right to “die with dignity” under house arrest but there were protests and he may not be let out.

A parole board will have to decide in the northern city of Bologna, where 86-year-old Riina is in jail for his role in dozens of Cosa Nostra murders.

Two anti-Mafia judges – Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino – were killed in 1992, in Riina’s “war against the state”.

Read Full – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40326094

POPE FRANCIS VS. THE MAFIA: WHY REAL-LIFE TONY SOPRANOS MAY HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ‘THE FAMILY’ AND THE CHURCH

For decades, mafia movies and television shows, from The Godfather to The Sopranos, have extensively detailed not only rampant sin but also devout Catholicism. For real-life Tony Sopranos, though, that connection could soon be a thing of the past, leaving them with a straight choice between organized crime and organized religion.

Pope Francis’ campaign against corruption took a step forward Saturday when the Vatican released a statement announcing its intention to set up a legal doctrine targeting those guilty of corruption and mafia association. The statement came following the Vatican’s hosting of the first ever “International Debate on Corruption,” featuring around 50 people, including anti-mafia magistrates, victims and officials from the United Nations and multiple countries.

“We conceived of this meeting to face a phenomenon that leads to the trampling of the dignity of people,” Cardinal Peter Turkson said. “Therefore it is up to us, and this Dicastery, to be able to protect and promote respect for the dignity of the person. And for this reason we seek to attract attention to this matter.”

On the same day as the conference, Turkson’s book on corruption called Corrosion was published. The foreword was written by the Pope, who in 2014 in a mass in Calabria told mobsters they were excommunicated.

“We must all work together, Christians, non-Christians, people of all faiths and non-believers, to combat this form of blasphemy, this cancer that weighs our lives,” Francis wrote in the foreword.

Read Full – http://www.newsweek.com/pope-francis-mafia-corruption-soprano-626976

Italian police break mafia ring exporting fake olive oil to U.S.

By Umberto Bacchi

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Italian police said they have busted a crime ring exporting fake extra virgin olive oil to the United States, highlighting the mafia’s infiltration of Italy’s famed agriculture and food business.

Twelve people with links to the ‘Ndrangheta, the organized crime group based in the southern Calabria region, were arrested on Tuesday on a series of charges including mafia association and fraud, police said in a statement.

The gang shipped cheap olive pomace oil to the U.S. where it was re-labeled as the more expensive “extra virgin” variety, prized for its rich taste and health benefits, and distributed as such to retail stores in New Jersey, they said.

Italian crime syndicates earned an estimated 16 billion euros ($16.85 billion) in 2015 through illegal activities in the agriculture sector, up from 15 billions in 2014, according to Italy’s agricultural association, Coldiretti.

Besides counterfeiting products, gangs make money seizing control of farmland and firms, fixing prices, controlling distribution and through labor exploitation, studies say.

In 2015, crime groups forced more than 100,000 Italians and migrants to work long hours for little pay in fields across the country, according to a report by Italian General Confederation of Labor union (CGIL).

Read Full – http://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-crime-food-idUSKBN1602BD

Italian police busted a mafia group trying to smuggle over a billion dollars’ worth of cocaine into Europe

Italian anti-mafia police said they busted an international drug ring and arrested 54 people with ties to notorious mafia group ‘Ndrangheta attempting to smuggle cocaine with a street value of $1.7 billion into Europe.

While the ‘Ndrangheta is based in the southern Calabria region, the 54 people arrested were detained in different parts of Italy, the country’s authorities said, according to Reuters.

The group was allegedly conspiring to import about 8 metric tons, or 17,637 pounds, of cocaine from Colombia into Europe via seaports and airports in Calabria, which is at the southern tip of the Italian mainland.

Read Full Article – http://www.businessinsider.com/italy-cocaine-bust-drug-trafficking-ndrangheta-mafia-2017-1

Italy’s anti-mafia squad in overdrive as asylum seekers flood into Europe

Updated

Italy’s investigators are ramping up their efforts to stop organised criminal gangs — including the mafia — from smuggling people into the country, in the face of record asylum seeker arrivals.

The number of people who made the hazardous boat journey across Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Italy increased by 17 per cent in 2016.

A record-breaking 180,746 people arrived in the Italian regions of Sicily, Calabria, Apulia and Campania, up from 153,842 in 2015.

Dr Gery Ferrara — the lead anti-mafia prosecutor responsible for investigating the criminal networks that smuggle people to Italy — said authorities started tracking people smugglers as soon as asylum seekers disembarked.

Full Read – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-02/asylum-seekers-flood-into-italy/8157396