ITALY NEWS

Mafia wars: the six-prong offensive

New plan for fighting crime in calabria
(issue no. 19/2005 / November 3, 2005)
Italy’s deputy police chief, Luigi De Sena, has been appointed to oversee the war against the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia. As prefect of the region’s capital, and mastermind behind government strategy to control the mob, he has been awarded special powers to fight the battle against organised crime. His target, the ‘Ndrangheta, is believed to generate an annual turnover of some 35 billion euros – more than Calabria’s entire legal economy generates. This network of at least seventy-five local clans is currently considered more powerful than its Sicilian mafia counterpart, the Cosa Nostra. The region’s need for government control of the clans’ illegal activities has become especially urgent since the assassination in October of Regional Parliament Deputy Chair Franco Fortugno.  

In response to recent events, the government has approved a far-reaching policy to fight crime on six different fronts. The first response involves increasing surveillance, particularly near Locri, where Fortugno was murdered. The second part seeks to increase investigation efforts and reduce ‘Ndrangheta economic power through property confiscation.

 

Regulation of police activity related to the clans’ drug trafficking both in Italy and abroad is also a primary factor. Since 1995, 30 town councils have been dissolved because they were charged with being under the control of the ‘Ndrangheta. Last year, the clans threatened 89 local administrators. The last three steps speak for themselves. Officials intend to provide more effective protection against intimidation and threats to local businesses and city officials. It is also considered essential to strengthen the relationship between prosecutors and members of the judiciary and to increase regional intelligence activities.

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