Italian police have seized another 120 million euros of assets from the powerful Calabrian Mafia also known as the Ndrangheta.
According to the report, authorities confiscated over 100 properties in Rome and various other Italian provinces linked to the mob. This latest operation targeted the Scriva, Morabito, Mollica, Velonà, and Ligato clans of the Ndrangheta. These Calabrian clans have been rooted in Rome and the surrounding areas since the 1980s. This is one of many police operations in the last few years aimed at the finances and assets of the powerful organized crime group. Million and millions of dollars in cash and holdings have been seized over the years in multiple countries. Yet it has seemingly had little to no effect as Italy’s richest and most powerful mafia continues to grow and expand around the world.
The Calabrian’s ability to turn billions of dollar in illegal proceeds into legal assets in multiple countries has made the fight against them even harder. Back in 2010 money made from their various rackets that include drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, and more accounted for at least 3% of Italy’s GDP. They have continued to grow at an alarming rate and the billions of dollars they bring in each year has turned them into the most powerful organized crime group at a global level.
They are now suspected of being the largest mafia family in multiple countries including Germany and Australia. They are currently the only mob organization to have a presence on every continent. While they operate traditional mafia rackets it is the control of the drug trade that has primarily been responsible for their meteoric rise. They are believed to currently control approximately 80% of the European cocaine trade along with substantial drug markets in other countries as well.
Raids like the one today show that they continue to turn this dirty money into harder to trace ‘legal’ assets in the form of real estate and businesses. This has given them a leg up on other criminal organizations when it comes to political corruption. The Ndrangheta like most mafias relies on their ability to buy political influence both locally and internationally. As history has proven politics and corruption go hand in hand and they continue to take full advantage of it.
While the Ndrangheta can be as violent as any criminal organization their true power seems to lie in their ability to make money and the willingness to use it. The blood ties in which they are built on have made them harder to infiltrate and had aided in their ability to expand outside of Italy. In many countries, they continue to fly under the radar but that could be changing sooner rather than later. They are no longer just the most powerful mafia in Italy.
This article was originally posted here