New book in Italy puts mafia on the map

December 6th, 2009 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Dec 6 (IANS/AKI) A new book has been released in Italy documenting the growth of one of the country’s biggest exports - organised crime.
“Mafia Export - How ‘Ndrangheta, Cosa Nostra and the Camorra colonised the World” is written by Francesco Forgione, a former MP and president of the Italian parliament’s Anti-Mafia Commission between 2006 and 2008.

The book documents the rise of various arms of the mafia, in particular the emergence of the Calabrian mafia, ‘Ndrangheta, in Germany and the expansion of the Neopolitan Camorra in Spain.

Forgione’s book crisscrosses the globe and publishes for the first time various maps showing how individual mafia clans have divided their business in countries as diverse as Canada, Britain, the US, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela and Australia.

“Corruption and criminality are the most serious issues facing the economy and structure of modern society,” Forgione said.

“Corruption and the mafia (together) produce an intolerable social cost globally, they dissipate resources, destroy and poison the environment, violate human rights and compromise democracy.”

He also singled out Switzerland to show how major mafia clans from the southern regions of Campania and Calabria have penetrated the country.

But tiny countries in central America, including Costa Rica, and Caribbean islands such as Santo Domingo are also included in the vast criminal network revealed in the book.

In his book, Forgione also published maps showing the international shipping routes of the major mafia drug cartels - tracking cocaine shipped from Colombia, marijuana from North Africa and heroin from Turkey and Afghanistan to Europe and onwards to North America.

He is not the first commentator to emphasise the significance of the brutal massacre of six Italians killed in a bitter ‘Ndrangheta feud in the German city of Duisburg in August 2007.

Forgione said the killings not only shocked German police but revealed the penetration of Italian organised crime in Germany, where many Italian immigrants have settled.

“Since the men of (Calabrian town) San Luca have created for themselves a real colony, Duisburg is not only one of the wealthiest industrial centres of the country,” Forgione said.

“It is only a few kilometres from the Belgian and Dutch borders and a few hours’ travel from the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp.”

He also talked about the expansion of several key mafia clans in Australia - the Siderno, the Alvaro, the Sergi of ‘Ndrangheta and the establishment of the Secondigliano alliance of the Camorra from Naples.

“Australia is a small market but it is important,” he said. “The Camorra is moving into the country because organised crime goes where it can find the most liberal legislation. Like the United Kingdom, Australia has very liberal laws in relation to money laundering and the confiscation of criminal assets.

“Australia is emerging as a key area for Camorra activities, like Brazil and America.”

–IANS/AKI

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