The power of the ‘Ndrangheta, Calabria’s Mafia, seems to have no limits. Authorities in Italy have arrested around 170 people, including two mayors, in Italy and Germany in a largescale operation aimed at the Farao-Marincola ‘Ndrangheta clan. Assets worth over €50 million euros were also seized. “We have been ruling here for 40 years!”
Members of the ROS unit of the Carabinieri, the Italian police, swept through Italy today arresting over 160 individuals in Calabria, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, and Lombardy. Among them were ten local politicians and even two mayors.
The Farao-Marincola clan’s “system”
The Farao-Marincola ‘Ndrangheta clan used its political clout to further their influence in the region. Investigators say the group spent the past decades creating a “system” capable of controlling every aspect of social and economic activity in its territories.
The ‘Ndrangheta effectively ruled Ciro Marina, a town of 14,000 inhabitants located in the Crotone province in Calabria. It controlled the port, the fish trade, waste management, and legal gambling. Not to mention various local businesses, such as the funeral home. The Farao-Marincola clan also got heavily involved in the region’s tourism sector, acquiring Ciro’s famous wine by buying up some wineries and putting it on the market.
Unsurprisingly, they allegedly also controlled the town’s mayor Nicodemo Parrilla. Besides being the mayor of Ciro Marina, Parrilla is also president of the Province of Crotone. He now finds himself charged with Mafia association.
This bust is a prime example of what the Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terror Directorate (DNA) warned Italy’s parliament about last summer when it presented them a report detailing the ‘Ndrangheta’s scope of influence. The report claims the Calabrian Mafia is present in all of the key facets of Italy's political and economic life.
“It is present in all the crucial sectors of politics, the civil service and the economy,” the report stated. Adding that this made it possible for Mafiosi to make money “no longer just via the traditional illegal activities of international drug trafficking and extortion, but also by intercepting... important public economic flows.”
“We’ve been ruling here for 40 years!”
“We have been ruling here for 40 years!” one member of the Farao-Marincola clan was recorded telling a Neapolitan entrepreneur about his organization’s influence in the Crotone province. Born from an alliance between the Farao and Marincola ‘Ndrangheta clans, known as 'ndrine, the group built its fortune on drug trafficking and extortion. It has also worked closely with the Albanian Mafia in the prostitution business.
As its empire grew, its members began investing in businesses and real estate. The clan's infiltration of these sectors allowed it to structure itself as a “criminal holding” conducting business worth millions of euros, investigators say.
Exporting the Mafia to Germany
These investments first occurred locally, but then quickly spread to other parts of Italy, most notably in the cities in central and northern Italy, and even abroad to Germany, where 11 men were arrested today in the city of Stuttgart and charged with blackmail and money laundering.
The clan had “operative cells” in Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Munich, and Stuttgart. Members of these cells saw to it that wine, dairy products and oil imports into Germany were organized, seeing to it that Calabrian restaurants bought products from those companies controlled by the Farao-Marincola organization.
This Mafia group had established itself a some type of shadow government operating in the underworld while influencing and controlling the one above.
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