Corruption in Italian Politics

On Monday, January 25, Italian Ambassador Fabrizio Bucci tweeted his criticism of the media and the accusations of corruption being used for political gain. In his Tweet the Ambassador wrote:

“Maximal support to the Albanian judicial authority for the full investigation of any episode of corruption or illegality […] Let the judges do their job peacefully, calmly and independently. It is up to them to distinguish facts from words. Useless polemics and its instrumentalization never help to verify the truth,”

His Tweet followed the publication in the Albanian and Italian media of taped conversations between Italian politicians associated with ‘Ndrangheta.

The ‘Ndrangheta are alleged to have used the politicians, who are associated with senior officials in Albania, as intermediaries.

Read more on this story which includes a link to extracts taken from the tapes.

12 Suspected Members of the ‘Ndrangheta – Arrested

Also on Monday, Italian police arrested 12 suspected members of the ‘Ndrangheta in and around the Calabrian city of Crotone.

According to Chief Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri the operation had thwarted another murder, he said

“They had dug up their weapons and were gearing to use them to carry out a murder […] We just couldn’t wait”.

To read more on this story click here

Naples – Teenage Criminals

Luciana Lamorgese, Italy’s interior minister, has intervened in a row over giant murals painted on buildings around Naples which pay tribute to the lives of teenage criminals.

One of the murals is a depiction of Ugo Russo who was shot and killed last year after he attempted to rob an off-duty police officer.

Read more on this.

26 Italian Police Arrest 16 Suspected Members of the Sicilian Mafia

Luciana Lamorgese was in the news again when on Tuesday 26 Italian police arrested 16 suspected members of the Sicilian Mafia (Cosa Nostra). They are accused of exploiting the coronavirus crisis while using violence to strengthen their local grip. Lamorgese said of the arrests

“Families’ needs and a lack of liquidity for businesses in times of COVID-19 represent an opportunity for criminal organisations to gain credibility with the population and exercise mob force,”

Read more on this .

COVID-19 & Organized Crime

Also on Tuesday, Homeland Security published a report by Dr. John P. Sullivan – who served as a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, specializing in emergency operations, transit policing, counterterrorism, and intelligence – and Dr. Robert J. Bunker – an international security and counterterrorism professional, he was Futurist in Residence at the Behavioural Science Unit (BSU) at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico.

The report titled How COVID-19 Is Influencing Organized Crime and Conflict can be read here.

90 Years of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba

An interesting story appeared in the La Prensa Latina where they look back at the history of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. The hotel in which Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner stayed in during their honeymoon and where in 1946 a, now famous, meeting chaired by Lucky Luciano took place.

Full story can be read here

Tracking Down a Gunman

In the Daily Beast, Sheldon Wilson writes about how he tracked down a gunman in a murder-for-hire plot that police had placed in witness protection in his new docuseries “Between Black and Blue.” Elvis, Shady Cops, and the Mob: My Dark Journey to Find a Killer

Click here to read full story

Assets Worth 124 Million Euros Seized in Calabria

On Wednesday Italian finance police in Reggio Calabria seized assets worth 124 million euros from people linked to the Piromalli clan of Calabria’s ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate.

More on that here.

120 People Suspected of Camorra Activity Under Investigation

An operation by Finance police on Thursday included the seizing of assets from members of the Camorra based in the town of Nola, the birthplace of Vito Genovese. 120 people suspected of Camorra activity have been placed under investigation.

More on this story.

The Rise of Female Gangster in the UK

In Manchester, Shazia Din and Natalie Wrafter are the female top bosses of a crime gang involved in the supply of drugs in the north of England. The following link is to a report that looks at the rise of female gangsters and how women are taking over mafia-like organisations all over the world.

Read the report.

Children Young as 11 Involved in Organized Crime

In Ireland, and in research carried out by the University of Limerick, it has been reported that children as young as 11 are among as many as a 1,000 teenagers involved in organised crime.

Read more.

Final Season of Gomorrah

With the fifth, and final, season of Gomorrah currently being shot in Naples and Rome, season three of Italy’s most successful television export, inspired by Roberto Saviano’s best-selling book about the Neapolitan organised crime group known as the Camorra, hit the screens.

Read the full story.

New Report Into Crime in Europe

Last but by no means least, a new report into organised crime and the rise in violence across Europe has been published by Europol.

“The involvement in criminal gangs of younger and inexperienced hitmen and the accessibility of firearms and explosives, together with violent incidents often perpetrated in crowded public places and broad daylight are considerable threats to public security.

Read the full report here.