Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Italy nabs mob clan controlling bakeries, funerals, migrants

Police in Italy and Germany seized 50m euros ($60m) in mafia assets and arrested more than 160 people, accusing them of running a mob-controlled commercial and political empire involving everything from bread and wine sales to funeral services, migrant housing, and garbage recycling.
Prosecutors in Italy said the 'ndrangheta's Farao-Marincola clan had its hand in just about every commercial enterprise in the Calabrian town of Ciro and nearby towns, and that its grip extended throughout Italy and into Germany to launder its profits. Prosecutors accused the bosses of driving out all the baking competition in Ciro so that residents and restaurants were forced to buy bread from the one mob-controlled bakery in town. Italian restaurants in Germany, meanwhile, were forced to import Italian wine, olive oil and other goods from a clan-controlled Italian restaurant association.

"They controlled all the economic activity in entire towns," Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri told a press conference.
Italy's 'ndrangheta has eclipsed the Cosa Nostra in power and wealth, infiltrating all sectors of Italian economic and political life and spreading from its base in Calabria. The 'ndrangheta's presence in Germany first made headlines in 2007, when a family feud between Calabrian clans turned a birthday party at a Duisberg pizzeria into a bloody massacre that left six dead.