Tag Archives: Ndrangheta

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

FBI searches alleged Mafia member’s home in bid to crack 1990 art heist

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 1:10 PM

A suspected Connecticut mobster may be in on the largest art heist in U.S. history — a $500 million mystery that has remained unsolved for 26 years.

FBI agents returned to the Manchester home of Robert Gentile Monday, marking the third time they’ve raided the 79-year-old alleged mob member’s house.

Federal prosecutors believe Gentile — who is currently behind bars for illegally selling prescription drugs and possessing guns — knows about the 1990 theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Thirteen pieces of art worth an estimated $500 million were stolen and never recovered. The swiped haul included the only seascape legendary Dutch painter Rembrandt ever painted, several paintings by Edgar Degas and one by Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch artist who left behind just 31 known works.

No one was ever arrested.

Federal officials declined to say why FBI agents went to Gentile’s home Monday. Gentile’s lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, also declined to comment.

“The FBI is conducting court-authorized activity … in connection with an ongoing federal investigation,” said Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston. “We will have no further comment at this time.”

Gentile has told authorities that he doesn’t know anything about the stolen paintings, and McGuigan has denied prosecutors’ allegations that Gentile is a made member of the Philadelphia Mafia.

But prosecutors said that locked-up Gentile has bragged about his knowledge of the paintings: He talked about the stolen works with at least three fellow prisoners at his Rhode Island jail, giving them information on who to call about the art and what code name to use.

Read Full Article – http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-searches-mafia-home-bid-crack-1990-art-heist-article-1.2623304