Italy plans global network to fight mafia

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Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said he "would not make a truce with the most dangerous organized crime groups." Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
14:58 CEST+02:00
The Italian government has announced plans to open offices around the world to coordinate the fight against the mafia, in addition to upping efforts to tackle organized crime at home.

The three-part plan announced by Interior Minister Angelino Alfano and Alessandro Pansa, head of the Italian police, targets the ‘Ndrangheta mafia. Based in Italy’s southern Calabria region, the ‘Ndrangheta has grown increasingly powerful by reinvesting drug trafficking profits into the clean economy.

In recognition of the mafia’s global network, the Italian government will open up five regional offices to crack down on the criminal underworld. They will be located in New York, Paris, Bucharest, Tehran and one in Brazil, Gazzetta del Sud reported on Thursday.

The government will also focus attention on the Italian regions where the mafia has reinvested its profits into the clean economy. They include the regions of Lombardy and Lazio, in addition to others in central and northern Italy.

In the third phase of the operation, 800 officers from various police forces will work in the heartland of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia in Calabria. They will focus particularly on criminal contracts and mafia assets, Gazzetta del Sud said.

Outlining the plans, the interior minister said he would “not make a truce with the most dangerous organized crime [groups], which today count 160 in addition to 4,389 affiliates.”

The ‘Ndrangheta mafia is described by Europol, the EU’s security agency, as one of the world’s most powerful crime syndicates. According to a study published last month, the Calabrian mafia had a turnover of €53 billion last year, equal to 3.5 percent of Italy’s GDP.

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