organized crime in italy


  • The newly forged alliance between the Banda della Comasina and the Mafia- and Camorra-backed Turatello Crew only increased the Banda della Comasina’s influence and power in
    the Milan underworld, and the two groups cooperated in controlling much of Milanese organized crime while their leaders remained incarcerated and controlling the illegals operations from within prison.

  • Vallanzasca was eventually captured, and, while in prison, he developed an alliance and friendship with his former rival, Francis Turatello, another recently incarcerated
    and powerful crime boss in Milan with strong connections to the Sicilian Mafia, Camorra, and Italian-American Gambino crime family (as well as possible ties to the Banda della Magliana and Italian political terrorist groups).

  • [20] Società foggiana (Foggian mafia)[edit] The Società foggiana also known as Mafia Foggiana (Foggian mafia) and the fifth mafia[21] is an mafia-type criminal organization
    operating in a large part of the Province of Foggia, including the city of Foggia itself, and having significant infiltrations also in other Italian regions.

  • With the 1993 capture and imprisonment of Salvatore Riina, along with the jailing of Bernardo Provenzano’s, “pax mafia,” following a new, less violent and low-key approach
    to criminal activities the Stidda has gained power, influence and credibility among the longer established criminal organizations within Italy and around the world, making itself an underworld player.

  • The Sicilian Mafia specializes in heroin trafficking, political corruption and military arms trafficking and is the most powerful and most active Italian organized crime group
    in the United States with estimates of more than 2,500 Sicilian Mafia affiliates located there.

  • Italian criminal groups in other countries Italian organized crime groups, in particular the Sicilian mafia and the Camorra, have been involved in heroin trafficking for decades.

  • In addition to their involvement in traditional organized crime rackets, the Banda della Magliana is also believed to have worked for Italian political figures such as Licio
    Gelli, grand-master of the illegal and underground freemason lodge known as Propaganda Due (P2), which was purportedly connected to neofascist and far-right militant paramilitary groups.

  • [10] It participated in the growing business of large-scale heroin trafficking, both in Italy and Europe and in US-connected trafficking; a famous example of this are the
    French Connection smuggling with Corsican criminals and the Italian-American Mafia.

  • There are six major native mafia-like organizations that are heavily active in Italy.

  • [22] Currently, it is considered one of the most brutal and bloody of all the organized crime groups in Italy.

  • In addition to these three long-established organizations, there are also three other significantly active organized crime syndicates that were founded in the 20th century:
    the Stidda of Sicily, and the Sacra Corona Unita and Società foggiana, both from Apulia.

  • Four other Italian organized crime groups, namely the Banda della Magliana of Rome, the Mala del Brenta of Veneto, and the Banda della Comasina and Turatello Crew, both based
    in Milan, held considerable influence at the height of their power but are now severely weakened by Italian law enforcement or even considered defunct or inactive.

  • [19] After the maxi-trial in 1999 which caused the capture of many high-ranking members, the group became fractured and fell further under the influence of the more powerful
    Calabrian-based ‘Ndrangheta.

  • Organized crime in Italy and its criminal organizations have been prevalent in Italy, especially Southern Italy, for centuries and have affected the social and economic life
    of many Italian regions since at least the 19th century.

  • The Sacra Corona Unita is also reported to be involved in money laundering, extortion, and political corruption and collects payoffs from other criminal groups for landing
    rights on the southeast coast of Italy.

  • The oldest and currently most powerful of these organizations, having begun to develop between 1500 and 1800, are the Cosa Nostra of Sicily, the ‘Ndrangheta from Calabria
    (who are considered to be among the biggest cocaine smugglers in Europe) and the Camorra based in Campania, also called the Neapolitan Mafia.

  • The organization also looked to enlarge its membership by absorbing local thugs and criminals (picciotti) who were at the margins of organized crime to gain more power and
    credibility in the Italian underworld.

  • The Sicilian Mafia originally engaged in such lower-level activities as extortion, cattle theft and, upon Sicily becoming part of a democratic Italy, election slugging in
    addition to other kinds of relatively low-level theft and fraud.

  • It’s sometimes called Italy’s fifth mafia.

  • Other crime groups include the Casamonica clan, a criminal organization of mostly Sinti ethnicity present in Rome and operating in the area of the Castelli Romani and the
    Lazio coast.

  • Local Rivals The internal difficulties of the SCU aided the birth of antagonistic criminal groups such as: • Remo Lecce Libera: formed by some leading criminal figures from
    Lecce, who claim to be independent from any criminal group other than the ‘Ndrangheta.

  • According to a 2013 “Threat Assessment on Italian Organised Crime” of Europol and the Guardia di Finanza, the ‘Ndrangheta is among the richest (in 2008 their income was around
    55 billion dollars) and most powerful organised crime groups in the world.

  • The Camorra also maintained important drug routes from South America since the 1980s.

  • Two major investigations that targeted their drug trafficking schemes in the 1970s and 80s are known as the “French Connection” and “Pizza Connection.

  • In July, 2013, the Italian police conducted sweeping raids targeting top mafia crime bosses.

  • As the original group named “Mafia”, the Sicilian Mafia is the basis for the current colloquial usage of the term to refer to organized crime groups.

  • In Sicily the term “Excellent Cadaver” is used to distinguish the assassination of prominent government officials from the common criminals and ordinary citizens killed by
    the Mafia.

  • [24] These were wrongly reported as the work of the Sacra Corona Unita (the fourth mafia) by news media unaware of the new independent mafia in Foggia province.

  • In 1993 the authorities arrested Salvatore “Totó” Riina, believed at the time to be the Capo di tutti capi and responsible directly or indirectly for scores if not hundreds
    of killings, after years of investigation which some believe was delayed by Mafia influence within the police and Carabinieri.

  • The latest creation of Italian organized crime (IOC), Mafia Capitale (which was partially a successor or continuation of Banda della Magliana, involving many former Banda
    della Magliana members and associates) was mostly disbanded by the police in 2014.

  • [32][33] The Italian crime groups (especially the Sicilian Mafia) have also connections with the Corsican gangs.

  • [32] Outside of Italy, the United States, and Southern France, the Sicilian Mafia and the ‘Ndrangheta have also established strongholds in Belgium, Canada (Rizzuto crime family,
    Musitano crime family, Papalia crime family, Luppino crime family, Cotroni crime family, Commisso ‘ndrina, Siderno Group); Australia (Siderno Group, The Carlton Crew, Honoured Society, Barbaro ‘ndrina); and Germany (see Duisburg massacre).

  • The Sicilian Mafia has evolved into an international organized crime group.

  • One other group, the Basilischi of Basilicata region, is currently active but is considered to have mostly fallen under the influence of the larger and more powerful ‘Ndrangheta.

  • As a consequence the rate of Mafia killings fell sharply but Mafia influence not only in the international drug and slave trades but locally in construction and public contracts
    in Sicily continued.

  • Sicilian Mafia La Cosa Nostra[edit] Based primarily in Sicily, the Sicilian Mafia formed in the 19th century by clans which sprang out of groups of bandits; these groups gained
    local power and influence.

  • The former leader of the clan, Paolo Di Lauro, who designed the system has been imprisoned since 2005, his organization produced about €200 million (about US$250 million)
    annually only in the drug trafficking business.

  • [36][37][38] The ‘Ndrangheta carved out turf or formed close ties with local organized crime groups in Latin American countries such as Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina.

  • With the decreasing importance of the Adriatic corridor as a smuggling route (thanks to the normalization of the Balkans area) and a series of successful police and judicial
    operations against it in recent years, the Sacra Corona Unita has been considered, if not actually defeated, to be reduced to a fraction of its former power, which peaked around the mid-1990s.

  • The Turatello Crew and Banda della Comasina had in fact been in the middle of a gang war with each other when both of their leaders, Vallanzasca and Turatello, were incarcerated
    in the same prison, at which point the two crime figures reconciled and bonded.

  • Originally preying on the region’s substantial wine and olive oil industries, the group moved into fraud, gunrunning, and drug trafficking, and made alliances with international
    criminal organizations such as the Russian and Albanian mafias, the Colombian drug cartels, and some Asian organizations.

  • The Turatello Crew controlled various illegal rackets in the Milan underworld with the backing of the Sicilian Mafia and Camorra, controlling prostitution in Milan and, like
    the Banda della Comasina, participating in robbery and kidnapping.

  • The Stidda is sometimes called the “Fifth Mafia” in the Italian media and press.

  • [15] Outside Italy the Camorra has a strong presence in Spain, where the organization established its massive businesses revolving around drug trafficking and money laundering,
    reinvesting its money in the creation of hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and companies around the country.

  • Many came to the US during the Camorra Wars ever since the late 19th century and especially 20th century, as shown by an old organization best known as Black Hand and the
    later Brooklyn Camorra.

  • [1] The best-known Italian organized crime group is the Mafia or Sicilian Mafia (referred to as Cosa Nostra by members).

  • It along with the Neapolitan Camorra and the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta are active throughout Italy, having presence also in other countries.

  • On May 23, 1992, the Sicilian Mafia struck Italian law enforcement.

  • In Ostia, a coastal community near the capital, police arrested 51 suspects for alleged crimes connected with Italy’s Sicilian Mafia.

  • The term Remo indicates Remo Morello, a criminal from the Salento area, killed by criminals from the Campania region because he opposed any external interference; • Nuova
    Famiglia Salentina: formed in 1986 by De Matteis Pantaleo, from Lecce and stemming from the Famiglia Salentina Libera born in the early 1980s as an autonomous criminal movement in the Salento area with no links with extra-regional Mafia expressions
    • Rosa dei Venti: formed in 1990 by De Tommasi in the Lecce prison, following an internal division in the SCU.

  • Falcone, Director of Prosecutions (roughly, District Attorney) for the court of Palermo and head of the special anti-Mafia investigative squad, had become the organization’s
    most formidable enemy.

  • Sacra Corona Unita (Apulian Mafia) The Sacra Corona Unita (SCU), or United Sacred Crown, is a Mafia-like criminal organization from the region of Apulia (in Italian Puglia)
    in Southern Italy, and is especially active in the areas of Brindisi and Lecce and not, as people tend to believe, in the region as a whole.

  • The ‘Ndrangheta consists of 160 cells and approximately 6,000 members, worldwide some estimate there to be as many as 10,000 core members[17] and specializes in political
    corruption and cocaine trafficking.

  • His team was moving to prepare cases against most of the Mafia leadership.

  • [12] The Sicilian Mafia has had influence in ‘legitimate’ power, particularly under the corrupt Christian Democratic governments from the 1950s to the early 1990s.

  • These Italian crime groups frequently collaborate with the Italian-American Mafia, which is itself an offshoot of the Sicilian Mafia.

  • Soon after Turatello’s assassination, Vallanzasca, still imprisoned, organized and participated in a prison revolt in which two pentiti, or former gangsters that had collaborated
    with the Italian government, were brutally killed.


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