Category: News

‘Ndrangheta: Matina murder in Stefanaconi, the Supreme Court confirms two life sentences

November 25, 2020 | Original article by Giuseppe Baglivio | From | Translated from Italian

Two  life sentences and one 30-year prison sentence.  This is the sentence of the Supreme Court against the defendants for the  attempted murder  and then for  the murder of Giuseppe Matina,  known as “Gringia”, of Stefanaconi. The trial at first instance took place with an  abbreviated procedure  which allowed a penalty equal to one third in the event of a conviction. “Discount” which in this case was only worth the failure to sentence to daytime solitary confinement for the defendants who were sentenced to life imprisonment. Life imprisonment  confirmed (as decided on appeal) for the brothers:  Giuseppe Patania  (cl. ’80) and  Salvatore Patania  (cl. “78), while  Saverio Patania (cl. ’76)  was sentenced to 30 years  of imprisonment. They are all sons of Fortunato Patania. As for  Nicola Figliuzzi , from Sant’Angelo di Gerocarne, a collaborator of justice, already on appeal he was sentenced to  11 years  and 6 months of imprisonment instead of the 20 years of the first degree of trial.

The Patanias were all accused of the  attempted murder  of Giuseppe Matina, committed in Stefanaconi on December 27, 2011, while Figliuzzi would have participated in the  meetings,  together with the principals, in which the ambush was planned and then not successful for reasons beyond the control of the authors. What  perpetrators  of the attempted murder of Joseph Matina – time husband of  Loredana Patania,  nephew Fortunato Patania and then moved with the deployment of cousins and Aunt Josephine Iacopetta – were named  Cosimo Caglioti  of Sant’Angelo Gerocarne, a relative of Patania , and  Francesco Lopreiato, for which a separate judgment proceeded together with  Alex Loielo,  also from Sant’Angelo di Gerocarne, and  Alessandro Bartalotta  who allegedly warned – according to the accusation –  the members of the firing group of the  arrival of the victim who he found on board his Fiat 500 along the “Stefanaconi-Varì” provincial road. The  accused  were also charged with the illegal possession of the shotgun loaded with buckshot with which the attempted murder was carried out. The latest accusation concerned the theft of the car, a Fiat Panda, used for the failed ambush. 

The murder of “Gringia” 

Joseph Matina , said “Gringia”, was then killed 20 February 2012 and which instigators of the crime were accused  all three brothers Patania,  while Figliuzzi would have the task of providing killer van used by the action of fire. The murder was allegedly carried out by  Arben Brahimi  (Macedonian killer who later joined the ranks of collaborators of justice) and  Cristian Loielo , from Sant’Angelo di Gerocarne. Francesco and Andrea Lopreiato Patani to would rather have had the task of recovering the killers after the artillery action to bring them to a safe place. The weapons for the ambush would have been provided by  Damiano Caglioti, of Sant’Angelo di Gerocarne. 

Giuseppe Matina

For Arben Ibrahimi, Cristian Loielo, Francesco Lopreiato, Andrea Patania and Damiano Caglioti, the DDA of Catanzaro decided to  proceed separately  with an immediate judgment. Also in this case the accused are challenged with the accusations of complicity in theft of the vehicles used for the murder and possession of the weapons used to  kill Giuseppe Matina. 

Offended parties.  Injured parties in the attempted murder and murder of  “Gringia”  are indicated the wife Loredana Patania and the other family members of the victim, namely Domenico, Nazzareno and Caterina Matina (assisted by the lawyer Giovanna Fronte).

Although the fact of blood (murder and attempted murder of Giuseppe Matina) is part of the larger  investigation called “Gringia”  and is part of the “mafia war” that saw  the Patanias opposed  to the Stefanaconi clan which would be headed by Emilio Bartolotta – in addition to another feud that saw the Patania opposed to the Piscopisani clan -, the DDA of Catanzaro has chosen to divide what appears to be a single investigation governed by a single thread-conductor into different procedural sections   The process  called  “Gringia” was thus celebrated in the Court of Assizes in Catanzaro  in which other bloody facts are disputed to the same defendants, while for the mafia association it was preferred to proceed with a distinct operation called  “Criminal novel” .

This article was originally posted “here

Albanian Member of Ndrangheta Sent to Italy

November 24, 2020 | Original article by Eduart Halili | From Albanian Daily News

Bujar Sejdinaj, otherwise known as Ndragheta’s “Uncle”, was extradited to Italy on Monday.

Sejdinaj from Dibra was arrested on July 24 in Tirana. He was handcuffed as part of the police operation codenamed “Magma 2020”. The operation took place in Albania, Italy, Argentina and Costa Rica.

Bujar Sejdinaj is known as the representative of “Ndrangheta” in Albania. He is the representative of the “Bellocco” mafia family.

Sejdinaj participated in the purchase of 20 kg of cocaine in Spain.

Albanian justice had decided on October 8, 2020 to allow the extradition to Italy of Bujar Sejdinaj, arrested a few months ago in Tirana, and known as the “boss” of the criminal organization Ndrangheta for Albania and the Balkans.

This article was originally posted “here

Rinascita-Scott: 91 suspects ask for a trial with an abbreviated procedure: the names

November 25, 2020 | Original article by Giuseppe Baglivio | from | Translated from Italian

There are 91 defendants who, through their respective defenders , have at the moment advanced to the district gup of Catanzaro, Claudio Paris, a request for trial with an abbreviated procedure as part of the maxi anti-mafia operation of the DDA called Rinascita-Scott against the Vibonese clans. Out of 452 total requests for indictment made by the prosecutors of the Dda of Catanzaro Antonio De Bernardo, Annamaria Frustaci and Andrea Mancuso, as well as by the chief prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, 91 have made a request to the judge to be judged with the alternative rite that provides – as well as a trial “in the state of the proceedings” and behind closed doors – a penalty equal to one third in case of conviction. Among the requests for trial with an abbreviated procedure also those made by the collaborators of justice of Vibo Valentia, Bartolomeo Arena, Gaetano Cannatà and Michele Camillò, as well as Emanuele Mancuso of Nicotera, “scion” of the homonymous Limbadi clan and son of the more famous Pantaleone Mancuso, alias “the Engineer”.

Therefore, among the requests for trial with shortened rite also “weight” defendants in the context of the clan organization chart as drawn by the public prosecution. To ask for the abbreviated procedure there are, in fact, among others: Domenico Camillò, 79, indicated as head of the ‘ndrina of Vibo of the Pardea-Camillò-Macrì; Orazio De Stefano, placed at the head of the homonymous clan of Reggio Calabria; Carmelo D’Andrea of ​​Vibo Valentia, alias “Coscia d’Agnejiu”; Leoluca Lo Bianco, known as “U Rozzu”; Michele Fiorillo, known as “Zarrillo”, of Piscopio; Nazzareno Franzè, known as “Paposcia”, from Vibo Valentia; Pasquale Gallone of Nicotera Marina (indicated as close to the boss Luigi Mancuso); Gregorio Gasparro of San Gregorio d’Ippona; Gregorio Giofrè of San Gregorio d’Ippona; Salvatore Morelli of Vibo Valentia, still a fugitive; Domenico Macrì, aka “Mommo”; Gregorio Niglia of Briatico; Francesco Antonio Pardea, of Vibo Valentia; Salvatore Tulosai of Vibo Valentia; Giovanni Rizzo of Nicotera.

Request for an abbreviated procedure also for the former collaborator of justice Giuseppe Scriva, known as “Pepè”, of Vibo Valentia, and for the lawyer of the Court of Vibo (and entrepreneur) Vincenzo Renda.

Requests for admission to the alternative rite will now have to pass through the scrutiny of the district judge of Catanzaro, Claudio Paris, who is holding the preliminary hearing in the bunker hall of the Rebibbia Roman prison . In various ways, the accused are charged with crimes of mafia association, external competition in mafia association, damage, illegal possession of weapons , extortion and fictitious registration of assets. All crimes aggravated by mafia purposes.

This is the complete list of the 91 requests for an abbreviated trial:

ALESSANDRIA Serafino, alias “Pitta”, of Zungri, born 11.08.1995

ARENA Bartolomeo, born on 15.11.1976, of Vibo Valentia (collaborator of justice)

BALDO Manuele, born on 29.05.1966, from Ionadi

BARBA Raffaele Antonio Giuseppe, known as “Pino Presa” born on 06.01.1968, from Vibo

BELISITO Luca, born on 25.04.1990, from Pizzo

BELVEDERE Lucio known as “Luciano”, born on 22.12.1981, from Vibo Valentia

CAMILLO ‘Domenico, born 01.09.1941, from Vibo                                                                                                               

CAMILLO ‘Michele, born on 22.11.1982, from Vibo Valentia (collaborator of justice)

CANNATA ‘Gaetano, alias “Sapituttu”, born on 03.01.1974, from Vibo Valentia (collaborator of justice)

CARCHEDI Paolo, born on 16.08.1963, from Vibo Valentia

CARIELLO Carmela known as “Melina”, born on 05.25.1954 in Vibo

CAVALLARO Gianluigi, born on 30.12.1986, from Nicotera

CHIARELLA Carmelo, 29 years old, from Vibo Valentia;

CHILLA Emanuela, 23, from Rome

COMERCI Sapienza, 70 years old, from Vibo,

COMITO Francesca, 39 years old, from Vibo Valentia

CRACOLICI Domenico, 38, from Maierato

D’ANDREA Carmelo, alias “Coscia d’Agneiju”, born on 4.06.1958, from Vibo Valentia

D’ANDREA Giovanni born on 27.10.1986, from Vibo Valentia

D’ANDREA Pasquale, born on 27.04.1989, from Vibo Valentia

DE CERTO Giuseppe, born on 04/27/1993, from Nicotera

DE GAETANO Fabio, born on 12.03.1980, from Rombiolo

DE GAETANO Nicola, born on 18.02.1988, from Rombiolo

DE STEFANO Orazio, born on 11.02.1959, boss of the homonymous clan of Reggio Calabria

DI MICELI Filippo born on 04.02.1971, from Piscopio

DI VIRGILIO Antonio born on 02.11.1960, from Catanzaro

DOMINELLO Michele, born on 08.06.1991, from Vibo Valentia

FAMA ‘Matteo born on 15.06.1990, from Pizzo Calabro

FERA Nicola, born in Chiaravalle Centrale (CZ), on 13.05.1962,

FIORILLO Michele known as “Zarrillo”, born on 12.03.1986, from Piscopio

FIUMARA Maurizio, born in Francavilla Angitola on 01.02.1956, resident in Pizzo

FRANZE ‘Nazzareno known as “Paposcia”, born on 05.07.1962, from Vibo Valentia

GALATI Michele, born on 01.11.1980, from Mileto

GALLONE Cristiano, born on 06.11.1970, from Nicotera

GALLONE Francesco, born on 11.07.1983, from Nicotera

GALLONE Pasquale, born on 30.8.1960, from Nicotera Marina

GASPARRO Francesco, born on 02.10.1971, from San Gregorio d’Ippona

GASPARRO Gregorio, born on 06.07.1971, from San Gregorio d’Ippona

GENTILE Sergio (alias Toba), born on 14.06.1979, from Vibo Valentia

GERACE Annunziata Carmela, born on 14.07.1974 in Nicotera

GERACE Francesco, born on 11.26.1978, from Nicotera

GARDEN Gabriele born on 30.07.1996, of Rizziconi

GIARDINO Girolamo, born on 05.02.1964, of Rizziconi

GIARDINO Michele, born on 04.12.1991, of Rizziconi

GIOFRE ‘Gregorio, born on 09.12.1963, of San Gregorio d’Ippona

GRADIA Emanuela, born on 09.04.1976, from Rombiolo

IANNELLO Francesco, born on 22.08.1980, of San Gregorio d’Ippona

LA BELLA Francesco, born on 04.01.1984, from Ionadi

LO BIANCO Giuseppe, on 18.09.1972, from Vibo Valentia

LO BIANCO Leoluca, known as “‘U Rozzu”, born on 17.01.1959, from Vibo Valentia

LO BIANCO Maria Carmelina, born on April 22, 1964, from Vibo Valentia

LO BIANCO Nicola, born on 09.21.1972, from Vibo Valentia

LO BIANCO Salvatore known as “u Gniccu”, born on 09.09.1972, from Vibo Valentia

LOPREIATO Giuseppe, born on 29.10.1994, from Sant’Onofrio

MACRI ‘Domenico, known as “Mommo” born on 12.08.1984, from Vibo Valentia

MACRI ‘Luciano, born on 30.06.1968, from Vibo Marina

MANCO Michele, born on 09.05.1988, from Vibo Valentia

MANCUSO Emanuele, born on 14.02.1988, from Nicotera (collaborator of justice)

MANTELLA Vincenzo, born on 25.09.1986, from Vibo Valentia

MAZZEO Nicolino Pantaleone, born on 16.06.1970, from Mesiano di Filandari

MAZZITELLI Vincenzo, born on 06.09.1973, from Briatico

MAZZOTTA Francesca, born on 15.05.1995, from Pizzo

MAZZOTTA Mariangela, born on 28.05.1992, from Pizzo

MORELLI Salvatore, alias “the American”, born on 13.10.1983, from Vibo Valentia (fugitive)

MORGESE Rossana, born on 15.10.1988, from Vibo Valentia

MORGESE Salvatore, born on 08.10.1963, from Vibo Valentia

NIGLIA Gregorio, known as “Lollo” born on 08.04.1983, from Briatico

EAR Filippo born on July 28, 1995, from Vibo Valentia

PALAMARA Emiliano, born on 30.05.1971, from Parghelia

PANETTA Costantino, born on 17.04.1984, from Vibo Valentia

PARDEA Francesco Antonio, born on 10.03.1986, from Vibo Valentia

PATANIA Antonio, born on 08.20.1985, from Sant’Onofrio

PERFIDIO Rosalba, born on 12.07.1964, from Nicotera

POLIMENO Lorenzo, born on 04.10.1977, from Reggio Calabria

PRESTANICOLA Andrea, born on 29.11.1986, from Ionadi

PRESTIA Domenico, born on 18.01.1970, from Vibo Valentia

PUGLIESE CARCHEDI Michele, born on 18.02.1984, from Vibo Valentia

RENDA Vincenzo, born on 30.10.1971, from Vibo Valentia (lawyer and entrepreneur)

RIZZO Giovanni, born on 29.10.1982, from Nicotera

SACCHINELLI Saverio, born on 17.07.1982, from Pizzoni

SALAMO ‘Giuseppe, born on 23.06.1980, from Zungri

SCALAMANDRE ‘Fabio, 44 ​​years old, from Vibo

WRITES Giuseppe, born on 14.01.1960, from Vibo Valentia

SOLANO Raffaele, born on 19.10.1980, from San Calogero

STARTARI Marco, born on 17.08.1989, from Vibo Valentia

TAVELLA Pasquale, born on 19.01.1986, from Briatico

TULOSAI Salvatore, born on 07.05.1959, from Vibo Valentia

VANACORE Paolo born on 12.09.1971, from Uboldo (Varese)

VARDE ‘Francesco, 68 years old, from Nicotera

VECCHIO Giovanni, born on 07.09.1958, from Milan

VITRO ‘Luigi, born on 06.11.1974, from Vibo Valentia

Photos and audio can be seen here:

This article was originally posted “here

Diamonds In The Sky: Mob Sleeper Kenny Arabia Stayed Loyal To Uncle’s Killers In Philly Mafia During Rise

November 25, 2020 – Slain Philadelphia mafia figure Dominick (Mickey Diamond) DeVito was found hog-tied and shot to death in the trunk of Kenny Arabia’s Caddy almost 40 years ago. Arabia was DeVito’s nephew and sometimes driver. DeVito had been driving Arabia’s Cadillac Seville the night he went missing in 1982.

Displaying a keen gangland instinct, instead declaring any desire for vengeance, Arabia made nice with his uncle’s killers. It was the right call. And one his uncle himself probably would have concurred with.

DeVito was a pragmatist and the prototypical mob politician and con man. Well-liked and always perfectly-coiffed, the jack-of-all-trades wiseguy Mickey Diamond was a mover and shaker in the South Philly underworld of the 1970s and early 1980s.

While not a household name in Philly mob affairs, Arabia, a convicted-felon and drug peddler, has existed on the fringes of the Bruno-Scarfo crime family for some time. Unlike his uncle, who was flashy and known to be loud, Arabia favors stealth and quiet. In other words, he’s comfortable not getting any headlines.

Well, he could be on the verge of getting top billing soon. Considering the stakes, it can be assumed he’d rather remain lower down the marquee.

The 67-year old Arabia was arrested for racketeering and narcotics trafficking offenses this week along with reputed Philly mob underboss Steven (Handsome Stevie) Mazzone and alleged Philly mob captain Domenic (Baby Dom) Grande. Holding an administrative post in the Bruno-Scarfo crime family since the 1990s, Mazzone, 56, isn’t accused of drug dealing in the current case.

The up-and-coming Grande, 41, used Arabia to seize a series of rackets in Atlantic City, per the indictment which alleges the crime family launched a campaign in 2015 to reestablish a firmer presence in the Boardwalk gambling town it once lorded over unchallenged. The man who made that dominance possible was Nicodemo (Little Nicky) Scarfo, the Philly mafia’s blood-lusting, power-hungry don of the 1980s who headquartered in A.C. for the majority of his well-chronicled career.

It was long-simmering tension between Little Nicky Scarfo and Arabia’s uncle, “Mickey Diamond” DeVito, that ultimately resulted in DeVito’s untimely demise. Upon Scarfo becoming boss in 1981, the diminutive Cowboy gangster-icon set off on a purge of his enemies, both real and perceived.

DeVito disappeared on February 22, 1982 on his way to a meeting at a New Jersey pizza parlor with the Marconi brothers (Mark and Funzi), a pair of button men in the Bruno-Scarfo crime family. Scarfo gave the contract to the Marconis because they had a business relationship with DeVito and wanted to test their loyalty to his newly-minted regime.

In fact, it was a beef involving the Marconi brothers and a key Scarfo ally back in the 1960s, that soured Little Nicky on Mickey Diamond for good.

According to FBI informant debriefings, Scarfo’s best friend, Salvatore (Chuckie) Merlino, was having an affair with one of the Marconis’ nieces and had allegedly disrespected her resulting in the Marconis seeking permission to murder Merlino to protect their family honor. Scarfo had hoped DeVito could convince the Marconis to back down, but instead DeVito encouraged the contract because he was promised some of Merlino’s rackets by the Marconis if Merlino was killed.

Eventually, Philly Godfather Angelo Bruno ruled against killing Chuckie Merlino, believing Scarfo explanation of the situation being misconstrued by the Marconis.  Little Nicky took DeVito’s position in the matter as a personal slight and held a grudge.

Bruno was assassinated in March 1980. Scarfo became boss a year later and named Chuckie Merlino his underboss. Getting rid of DeVito was near the top of Little Nicky’s to-do list when he took the throne.

The Marconis and another Scarfo lieutenant, Pasquale (Pat the Cat) Spirito, shot Mickey Diamond to death and stuffed his body into the trunk of his nephew’s older-model silver-colored Cadillac Seville that he had driven to what he thought was a touch-base about drug-dealing activity in New Jersey, but was in fact his slaughter. Authorities came upon DeVito’s corpse, his hands and feet bound behind him and wrapped in green-colored garbage bags, on February 25, 1982.

Kenny Arabia identified his uncle’s body. Even after DeVito’s slaying, Arabia continued making a living in the underworld and was linked to the Marconi brothers, who died of natural causes in 2006 and 2012, respectively. Per FBI records, Arabia was partnered with Marc Marconi’s son Gino in a drug operation in the 1990s before Gino Marconi was gunned down on orders of Philly mob bosses for refusing to pay a street tax.

Spirito was killed on Scarfo’s orders in the months that followed the Mickey Diamond hit. Scarfo ordered more than 30 gangland homicides, some never carried out, in his less-than-a-decade reign as head of the mafia in Philly

Little Nicky Scarfo and Chuckie Merlino were incarcerated in the spring of 1987 and never saw the light of day in the free world again. Scarfo succumbed to heart failure in 2017 and Merlino died of cancer in prison in 2012.

Merlino’s son, Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino is the boss of the Philly mafia today. Arabia’s alleged partner in the narcotics business is Daniel (Cozy) Castelli, a father-in-law to one of Merlino’s closest friends.  

Per Monday’s indictment, Arabia and Castelli met with a mob capo in November 2015 and assigned a group of newly-initiated soldiers to put to work in Atlantic City. Arabia and Castelli were spearheading a Philly mob resurgence in the area as the boots on the ground, allegedly cutting into independent drug dealing, loan sharking and gambling rackets and setting up shop in their own, prosecutors claim.

This article was originally posted here

‘Ndrangheta: assets seized for 2 million and fish gang boss

November 24, 2020 | Original article by ANSA Editorial Staff | From Calabria | Translated from Italian

(ANSA) – REGGIO CALABRIA, NOV 24 – Assets for about two million euros were seized by the Reggio Calabria Anti-Mafia Investigation Department, under the supervision of the District Attorney Giovanni Bombardieri and the Deputy Prosecutor Gaetano Paci and in execution of a court order – Prevention Measures Section, against Vincenzo Pesce, 67, from Rosarno, a leading exponent of the homonymous hegemonic clan, together with that of the Bellocco family, in Rosarno.

Pesce reported 2 definitive convictions for simple and mafia conspiracy for acts committed in the years 1980 and 1989 and following which he had already been subjected to the measure of special surveillance by PS for 3 years.

In June 2014 he was involved in the “‘Ndrangheta Banking” operation, conducted by the Dia Operational Center of Reggio together with the Carabinieri of the Ros of Reggio and coordinated by the DDA, which had led to the discovery of a parallel credit system through which the gangs granted loans at usurious rates to Calabrian and Lombard entrepreneurs in difficulty. 

Pesce would have operated as de facto dominus of the individual company “Maduli Biagio Francesco”, in favor of which, thanks to the relationship with Vincenzo Carmine Barbieri, another entrepreneur considered colluding, a contract by the Municipality of Rosarno for road maintenance works for 40 thousand was awarded EUR. For this Pesce was sentenced to 4 years for fictitious registration of assets with the aggravating circumstance of having facilitated the ‘Ndrangheta.

The kidnapping was ordered for the social dangerousness both “qualified” for belonging to the ‘Ndrangheta and “generic” as a subject who lives on illicit proceeds. From the investigations of the Dia it emerged for Pesce the availability of two companies in the name of nominees as well as an evident disproportion between the declared income compared to the investments made over time. 

The measure concerned two companies operating in the construction of buildings and non-hazardous solid waste disposal sector, 8 buildings and various agricultural land, 10 including self-propelled machinery, a trailer, a semi-trailer, several trucks and a car and company financial relations.

This article was originally posted “here

The betting round: “The referee deserves to be hanged”

November 24, 2020 | Original article from Live Sicilia | Translated from Italian

PALERMO – “… that referee deserves to be hanged, the penalty of one to one is scandalous … that referee must be sent away, in three minutes Bologna has conceded three goals”, so said Pasquale Somma, from this morning to under house arrest, to Vincenzo Fiore who instead ended up in prison on charges of being one of the leaders of the criminal group that allegedly managed a round of clandestine betting.

That time he had gone badly and had to pay the winnings to a bettor who had invested a lot of money. And here is one of the keys to the blitz coordinated by the Palermo Anti-Mafia District Directorate.

In the parallel round, the money of those who do not want to be tracked ends. In authorized betting centers it is not possible to wager more than 2,000 euros in cash. And instead of outlaw bets, a lot of them were handled under the table. Four, five, six thousand euros on a single sporting event.

When entering one of the betting rooms that had been seized , customers could choose whether to use the legal circuit or to withdraw and make the bet flow to one of the pirate online platforms, which corresponded to as many current accounts.

Everyone wins: the dealer who can launder dirty money and accumulate money without having to pay taxes, but also the bettor who is guaranteed a higher odds in case of winning.

The payments were timely because the credibility of the illegal circuit must never fail otherwise the toy breaks. Once again it is the interceptions of the financiers of the economic-financial police unit that bring out the whirlwind round of money.

Fiore was taking stock of the takings with Christian Tortora, who also ended up in prison: “So 687… 130,000 a week… on the other side in four weeks a million and a half “. Once Fiore was even more explicit: “… I don’t want masters, I can’t have masters, I make mine, I make 5 million, 6 million, 4 million, 9 million I make them myself and I manage them”.

Even higher in the hierarchy, the deputy prosecutor Salvo De Luca and substitutes Dario Scaletta and Maria Pia Ticino place Salvatore Rubino, who has quickly become a big shot in the world of betting. And he would have tried to make a further qualitative leap, meeting in Trastevere, one of the best known “bookmakers” of the Roman square. One of the most skilled in creating betting sites linked to servers in Malta and Romania. He gave him a hand, but I was explicit: “In Rome we command, in Sicily you command”.

This article was originally posted “here

Australian Drug ‘Queen’ Sentenced to 18 Years in Jail

November 24, 2020 | Original article by Zdravko Ljubas published on November 20, 2020 | From Organized Crime and Corruption Project

A court in Melbourne sentenced on Thursday a 49-year-old woman who described herself as the “queen” of a criminal drug smuggling syndicate to 18 years in jail with a 13 years-long non-parole period, according to Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The woman, whose name was not revealed, was charged in early 2019 and was sentenced for “a string of serious illicit drug offences, including importing and trafficking commercial quantities of heroin.”

She was arrested in January last year along with seven others during a joint operation involving several law enforcement agencies.

The woman was involved in “a large-scale heroin smuggling operation believed to be responsible for the importation of an estimated AU$6 million ($4.37 million) worth of illicit drugs using international airline cabin crew, operating into Melbourne,” according to police.

“The alleged offenders are linked to the trafficking of at least six kilograms of high-grade heroin and eight kilograms of methamphetamine,” the law enforcement agencies said back then.

The ‘queen’ acted as the Australian contact for a Malaysian-based supplier.

“It was alleged in court her contacts would advise her of upcoming flights into Australia, where she would then facilitate cabin crew members to covertly import what were described as ‘tickets’ of heroin,” police said.

They added that she was involved in “multiple separate drug-related deals,” from October 2018 to January 2019, when she was arrested.

This article was originally posted “here

‘Ndrangheta: Piscopisani clan, 21 sentences requested

November 24, 2020 | Original article by GB published on November 23, 2020 | From | Translated from Italian

In addition to the leaders of the clan of Piscopio, among the defendants also the boss Cosmo Michele Mancuso of Limbadi. The investigation coordinated by the DDA and conducted by the Vibo Mobile Squad.

Requisition of the prosecutor of the Dda of Catanzaro, Andrea Mancuso, in the shortened section of the procedure born from the anti-mafia operation “Rimpiazzo” against the Piscopisani clan and some members of the Mancuso clan. These are the requests for sentencing for a total of almost 200 years in prison : 20 years of imprisonment were requested for Rosario Fiorillo , 30, known as “Pulcino, di Piscopio”; 13 years and 8 months Nazzareno Fiorillo , 54, called “U Tartaru”, from Piscopio, indicated as the head of the ‘ndrangheta’ club in Piscopio; 12 years old Michele Fiorillo (cl. ’86), called Zarrillo, indicated as one of the leaders of the clan (cousin of Rosario Fiorillo); 18 years and 6 months in prison for Sacha Fortuna , 40, from Vibo, living in the Bolognese area (brother of Davide Fortuna, killed in 2012 on the beach of Vibo Marina); 10 years and 8 months Caterina Cutrullà , 42, residing in Rioveggio, in the province of Bologna (wife of Sacha Fortuna); 10 years and 6 months  Francesco D’Ascoli , 48, from Vibo Marina; 8 years and 6 months Nazzareno Felice , 59, from Piscopio; 12 years old Nicola Finelli , 39, from Vibo Marina; 3 years old Michele Fiorillo (cl. ’87), 33 years old; 8 years old Pasquale Fiorillo , 31 years old, from Piscopio; 7 years (and a fine of 50 thousand euros)Giovanni Giardina , 42, from Palermo; 3 years and 6 months Luigi Maccarone , 42, from Limbadi; 9 years old Giuseppe Merlo , 46 years old, from Piscopio; 8 years old Saverio Merlo , 42 years old, from Piscopio; 12 years old  Raffaele Moscato , 34, from Vibo Marina, collaborator of justice; 3 years old  Michele Suppa , 28, from Vibo Valentia; 10 years and 6 months Salvatore Vita , 44, from Vibo Marina (already sentenced for the “Lybra” operation);  8 years old Gaetano Rubino , 39, from Ficarazzi (Pa); 12 years old Francesco La Bella, 47, from Piscopio; 3 years for Marco Fiorillo, 32 years old, of Piscopio (brother of Rosario Fiorillo); 8 years and 6 months for the boss of Limbadi Cosmo Michele Mancuso , 70 years old. The position of Giovanni Battaglia , 36, from Piscopio has been deleted. 

The total charges of the “Rimpiazzo” operation (the main one is the mafia association) are almost 80. The offended parties are 35  , some of which assisted by the lawyer Giovanna Fronte. Mafia association, extortion, illegal possession of weapons, drug trafficking, fictitious registration of assets, robbery and damage to the crimes, for various reasons, disputed. The operation started in April last year with the coordination of the DDA of Catanzaro, while the investigations on the “field” were conducted by the Mobile Squad of Vibo Valentia.

Attorneys engaged in the defense college: Francesco Muzzopappa, Sergio Rotundo, Antonio Porcelli, Giuseppe Di Renzo, Brunella Chiarello, Michelangelo Miceli, Leopoldo Marchese, Diego Brancia, Giovanni Vecchio, Letteria Porfidia, Guido Contestabile, Gregorio Viscomi, Walter Franzè, Salvatore Staiano, Francesco Gambardella, Francesco Sabatino, Luigi La Scala, Gabriele Bordoni, Gaetano Scalamogna, Maria Grazia Pianura, Michelina Suriano, Francesco Lione, Giuseppe Bagnato, Mario Murone, Luca De Fazio, Piera Farina, Domenico Anania, Antonio Turrisi, Rosa Giorno, Emanuele Papaleo, Gabriele D’Ottavio, Massimo Biffa, Francesco Calabrese, Giovambattista Puteri, Annalisa Pisano (lawyer of the collaborator Moscato), Sergio Mangiavillano, Antonio Rocco, Giosuè Monardo, Annalisa Pisano, Adele Manno, Giacinto Inzillo, Fabio Mirenzio, Giuseppe Pasquino, Nazzareno Latassa, Pasquale Grillo, Attilio Matacera,Alice Massara, Vianello Valerio Accorretti, Antonio Turrisi, Giuseppe Trimboli, Domenico La Blasca.

Other defendants were instead sent to trial in the last hearing before the Collegial Court of Vibo Valentia. READ HERE: ‘Ndrangheta: Piscopisani clan and Mancuso clan, 31 indicted.

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Cosa Nostra and illegal betting: 15 arrests in Palermo

November 24, 2020 | Original article by Ricardo Lo Verso | From Live Sicilia | Translated from Italian

PALERMO – After the surrenders last June, the financial investigations on the Cosa Nostra betting agencies have continued until today’s blitz.

As delegated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office , the investigation is coordinated by the Deputy Prosecutor Salvo De Luca and by the deputies Dario Scaletta and Maria Pio Ticino, the financiers of the provincial command of Palermo , have executed an order signed by the judge for preliminary investigations Walter Turturici towards fifteen people, including well-known faces.

You are in prison: Salvatore Rubino, 59, Vincenzo Fiore, 42, Christian Tortora, 44, Rosario Chianello, 48, Michelangelo Guarino, 43, and Giovanni Di Noto, 46.

Nine under house arrest : Salvatore Barrale, 63, Maurizio Di Bella, 46, Pasquale Somma, 50, Giovanni Castagnetta, 36, Davide Catalano, 41 ( from April 2019 he receives 900 euros per month of citizenship income whose disbursement will be suspended), Giacomo Bilello, 36, Pietro Montalto, 31, Antonio Inserra, 55, and Salvatore Lombardo, 36.

They are accused in various ways of criminal association aimed at the abusive exercise of bets and fraud against the State, and fraudulent transfer of values.

The investigating judge ordered the preventive seizure of 6 betting agencies in Palermo and in the province of Naples, for a total estimated value of about one million euros. Over 100 soldiers are carrying out in Sicily and Campania.

In the first tranche of the investigation called “All-in” five “mafia companies” that had acquired the state concessions issued by the Customs and Monopoly Agency for the collection of games and sports bets were seized.

Then, however, as already reconstructed in this article of recent months, it was discovered that there was an illegal and parallel gaming network.

The anti-mafia specialists of the Gico of the Palermo economic-financial police unit have developed a second line of investigation. Two distinct criminal associations would have been organized, parallel but both attributable to Salvatore Rubino who, as it had emerged a few months ago, would have used mafia capital for his takeover. The two organizations ran a betting round of no less than 2.5 million euros per month .

The first criminal group, headed by Vincenzo Fiore and Christian Tortora and made up of Salvatore Barrale, Maurizio Di Bella, Pasquale Somma and Giovanni Castagnetta, managed a network of agencies entrusted to trusted people, called masters.

The second organization, which also managed betting centers through which illicit collection operated, had Chianello Rosario and Guarino Michelangelo as prominent figures and made use of the collaboration of Giovanni Di Noto, known as “Gianfranco”, already arrested on charges of being an element prominent member of the La Noce mafia family.

Davide Catalano, Giacomo Bilello, Pietro Montalto, Antonio Inserra and Salvatore Lombardo were also part of this criminal group.

The illegal collection of bets took place through the “screen” of agencies authorized by the Monopolies. The under-the-counter managers accepted bets that were not managed on the official network but through illegal foreign platforms.

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Mexico denies deal to nab cartel leader in return for Cienfuegos

November 24, 2020 | Original article by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador published November 23, 2020 | From Aljazeera

Salvador Cienfuegos was accused of conspiring with a cartel to smuggle drugs while serving as defence secretary.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has denied that Mexico had agreed to capture a cartel leader for the United States in order to secure the return of ex-defence minister Salvador Cienfuegos from US custody.

News agency Reuters reported last week that Mexico agreed with US Attorney General William Barr to seek the arrest of a high-level Mexican drug cartel leader as part of a deal to get US drug trafficking charges against Cienfuegos dropped.

“There is no deal in the shadows,” Lopez Obrador said at his regular news conference on Monday, referring to media reports that Mexico had threatened to expel US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents over Cienfuegos’ arrest.

He said it was wrong to suggest that the US sent Cienfuegos back so that Mexico would send Washington a leader of organised crime.

“There is no deal in the shadows,” Lopez Obrador said at his regular news conference on Monday, referring to media reports that Mexico had threatened to expel US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents over Cienfuegos’ arrest.

He said it was wrong to suggest that the US sent Cienfuegos back so that Mexico would send Washington a leader of organised crime.

Cienfuegos’s arrest in Los Angeles in October followed a multi-year investigation that used wiretaps to track a military figure, dubbed “El Padrino”, Spanish for “The Godfather”, by traffickers.

Investigators concluded “El Padrino” was Cienfuegos.

Cienfuegos, 72, was secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York in 2019. He was accused of conspiring with the H-2 cartel in Mexico to smuggle thousands of kilos of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana while he was defence secretary from 2012 to 2018.

Gladys McCormick, a history professor at Syracuse University and an expert on US-Mexico relations, said that although arresting Cienfuegos fed into the narrative that the Mexican government is corrupt, it ultimately did not advance US political interests.

“At the end of the day, arresting Cienfuegos jeopardised future collaboration between the two militaries because it meant that no one on the Mexican side was safe from possible prosecution, even after helping the Americans,” McCormick told Aljazeera.

Cienfuegos returned to Mexico after a federal judge dropped the charges against him at Barr’s request. Under the agreement, he will face an investigation in Mexico.

Mexico has hailed Cienfuegos’s return as a victory for the country’s sovereignty and its demand to be treated as an equal partner by the US.

“All in all, freeing Cienfuegos without any charges or penalties showcases that his arrest was a complete debacle for both the DEA and DOJ [Department of Justice],” McCormick said.

US prosecutors said intercepted messages showed that Cienfuegos accepted bribes in exchange for ensuring the military did not take action against the cartel and that operations were initiated against its rivals. He was also accused of introducing cartel leaders to other corrupt Mexican officials.

This article was originally posted “here