Tag Archives: Ndrangheta

Italian mafia sees German justice system as ‘a joke’

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.

Read Full Mafia Germany Article

Over 20 arrested in major anti-mafia sweep in Lombardy

Police placed 27 people under investigation as part of a major anti-mafia operation in Lombardy in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A town mayor is among those accused of corruption in the investigation into ties between the ‘Ndrangheta mafia clan and the worlds of business and politics.

Edoardo Mazza, the mayor of Seregno in Monza province representing Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, was placed under house arrest. Mazza is accused of corruption for awarding construction contracts to groups linked to the ‘Ndrangheta, according to Rai News.

In total, 21 people were arrested, while three were placed under house arrest and another three also face charges. The charges include extortion, abuse of office, bodily harm, drug trafficking, and bribery, all of which are aggravated due to the connection to aggravated crime.

The investigation, which has been coordinated by Milan’s anti-mafia authority (DDA) and prosecutors in Monza, northeast of Milan, began in 2015 and included arrests across the Lombardy region, in Monza, Milan, Pavia, Como and Reggio Calabria.

The stronghold of the ‘Ndrangheta is in Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, but arrests over the past two years show it is operating in northern Italy.

Police believe it has grown bigger than the more well known Sicilian and Neapolitan mafias through its successful cocaine trafficking from Latin America.

Full Read  – https://www.thelocal.it/20170926/over-20-arrested-in-major-anti-mafia-operation-in-lombardy

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

Mafia queen pleads guilty to smuggling cocaine through Queens restaurant

The wife of a mob-connected Queens restaurant owner who trafficked drugs admitted on Monday to pushing the narcotics through the eatery’s basement.

Eleonora Gigliotti pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to the top charge of conspiracy to import cocaine.

She faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and also agreed to pay a $1.625 million forfeiture judgement.

Judge Raymond Dearie could sentence Gigliotti to the maximum of 171/2 years behind bars.

Gigliotti, 56, was slated to go to trial at the end of March for smuggling more than 110 pounds of cocaine from Costa Rica in shipments of cassava to her family’s restaurant, Cucino a Modo Mio, in Corona.

If Gigliotti had been convicted at trial, she could have faced life in prison, authorities said.

The Gigliotti family allegedly has ties to the Genovese mob family and served as a connection to the ’Ndrangheta crime group in Italy.

Prosecutors said in 2014 that Gigliotti had traveled to Costa Rica with more than $360,000 in cash that she delivered to cocaine dealers.

Gigliotti also agreed to forfeit the property seized, including $124,874 in cash, seven handguns recovered from the business, ammunition, an automated money counter and brass knuckles, according to a law enforcement source.

Her husband, Gregorio, 60, and 36-year-old son, Angelo, were convicted on drug and guns charges after a jury trial last July.

They face mandatory minimums of 15 and 20 years behind bars, respectively.

At the trial, Dearie concluded that lawyers for Gregorio Gigliotti and his son had tried to stack the jury with women by using all their preemptory challenges to exclude men.

After a panel of 10 women and two men was selected, federal prosecutors Margaret Gandy and Keith Edelman complained that the defense had discriminated against men.

Dearie later ruled that after reviewing the transcript of jury selection, he found “a pattern of attempting to exclude men” and was going to restore two men back on the jury.

At the time, defense lawyers Elizabeth Macedonio and Alan Futerfas had insisted that there was no bias against men — explaining that some of the challenges were based on “gut” feelings.

It didn’t work — and jurors found both men guilty on July 22 after deliberating for just three hours.

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