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Elite ‘Ndrangheta ceremony videotaped live

By David Amoruso

It’s a bad time to be a secretive criminal organization. Today, Italian authorities released video of a ‘Ndrangheta elite swearing-in ceremony after concluding a two year investigation resulting in the arrest of forty suspected members of the criminal brotherhood from Calabria.  

“It's the first time that the swearing in, with the awarding of roles and tasks, has been documented live,” Milan Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini told reporters at a press conference. Until the recording, investigators only had information about the ceremony for the bestowal of the “Santa” given to them by former ‘Ndrangheta members who had turned “pentito”, witness for the government.

Now, they could view for themselves how this highest honor within the criminal organization was bestowed upon the man or men of the moment.

A moment that proved to be short-lived. Three of the forty 'Ndrangheta suspects arrested today were put under house arrest while the rest were taken to jail. Charges range from mafia association, extortion, to illegal possession of weapons and were committed across Italy and Sicily.

The suspects allegedly belonged to three clans of the Calabrian-based syndicate operating in the northern provinces of Como and Lecco in Lombardy, north of Milan, where they had infiltrated the local community.

The “Santa” is an elite membership and has never been recorded before. The mobsters organized their hierarchy during the ceremony and used century-old rituals and folklore to emphasize the importance of the meeting.

This video is the most recent one in a long line of taped secret Mafia ceremonies. In August, Italian authorities released a video made in Switzerland which showed a secret meeting of a local ‘Ndrangheta clan. And at the end of October, the FBI released audio recordings of a 1989 initiation ceremony by the New England Patriarca family.

It looks like keeping secrets is truly a thing of the past.  

Watch video of the ‘Ndrangheta’s “Santa” ceremony below:

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