As Italy mourns thousands of coronavirus dead, and survivors brace for life in an economic wasteland, one rung of society looks to win big: organised crime.
“The Italian mafia can turn threats into opportunities,” top government anti-mafia investigator Giuseppe Governale told AFP.
Over 10,000 people have died in Italy of the flu-like disease, which has forced the country into a lockdown that is devastating the eurozone’s third largest economy.
From the historic Cosa Nostra in Sicily, to the immensely powerful ‘Ndrangheta in Calabria and trigger-happy Camorra in Naples, Italy’s mafias were “caught on the back foot (by the virus), but are now organising themselves,” Governale said.
The Economist Intelligence Unit said Thursday it expected Italy’s GDP to contract by a colossal seven percent for the year. Italian experts say some 65 percent of Italian small and medium businesses are at risk of bankruptcy.
The first hint to someone not in the know only came when the priest, Monsignor David Cassato, offered a joke.
“There’s an expression, there’s two things in life you’re sure of, right?” Cassato said. “Death and…
“Taxes,” a number of the roughly 75 mourners joined him in saying.
“If you’re smart, Sonny told me, you can avoid some of those taxes,” Cassato said, drawing laughter even from those who appeared to be feeling the loss most keenly.
John Franzese, known as Sonny, had been the federal prison system’s oldest inmate and its only centenarian when he completed his last stint behind bars in 2017. He died in a Queens nursing home at the age of 103, having lived long enough to become known as the Nodfather for dozing off in court.
(ANSA) – Palermo, February 28 – The 45-year-old brother of a local Mafia boss was shot dead in the early hours of Friday in Belmonte Mezzagno, an agricultural area near Palermo, which has registered a recent surge in violence, investigative sources said.
Agostino Alessanfro Migliore, 45, brother of Giovanni, who was recently arrested and is believed to be the chief aid of Mafia boss Filippo Bisconti, was killed while he was driving his car in the town at 5 AM.
Bisconti since December 2018 has been collaborating with investigators.
Two murders and an attempted murder have been recently registered in the area, investigative sources said.
The Escalade was headed down a dreary and industrial stretch of road in Commerce when the first bullet buried itself in the driver’s back. He stomped on the gas. Bullets slammed into the car. Blood leaked from his gut.
The black SUV was ferrying the son of Lev Aslan Dermen, a petroleum mogul and suspected organized crime figure. His son escaped, unscathed.
The shooting drew little notice until a year later, when an extortionist for the Mexican Mafia contacted a Los Angeles Police Department detective from jail with a startling story: The gunman was a gang member, he said, but a Glendale detective had offered him $100,000 to “scare” someone, according to an affidavit that details his statement.
Thousands mark the second anniversary of the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova.
Bratislava, Slovakia – Several thousand people gathered in central Bratislava on Friday evening to mark the second anniversary of the brutal murder of Jan Kuciak. The shooting of the journalist was a watershed for Slovakia – one that is now playing out ahead of elections on February 29.
It was a sombre crowd, estimated at around 8,000, that filled Namestie Slobody (Freedom Square) in the Slovak capital to honour Kuciak and his fiance, Martina Kusnirova, who were gunned down in their home on a cold February night.