LAMEZIA TERME, Italy-The trial against the “ndrangheta criminal group” began in southern Italy on Wednesday. The criminal group is arguably the richest criminal organization in the world and quietly assembled after the Sicilian Mafia lost its influence. In order to gain power, more than 320 defendants were tried.
It is expected to last at least one year, and the trial will be conducted in a specially constructed high-security bunker on the vast ground of an industrial park in Calabria, “Toe” on the Italian peninsula.
Prosecutors hope that the trial will deal a heavy blow to the mob organization ndrangheta in Calabria. For decades, the organization has used tens of billions of dollars in cocaine revenue to expand its criminal activities throughout Europe and across multiple continents.
The anti-mafia prosecutor, Nicola Gratteri, told reporters when he reached the bunker that the trial was aimed at alleged members of twelve criminal clans and local officials, businessmen and politicians who were allegedly associated with the mob. This marked a turning point.
“Decades ago, people would tremble when talking about Cosa Nostra or using the word̵
For him and other Italians who have acted in Italy and other criminal groups, it is encouraging that they run counter to the past. In the past, few people dared to provoke mobs by reporting requests for the “protection” of funds from large and small businesses Revenge. And other forms of intimidation.
Gratry said: “We have seen a surge in complaints from businessmen, bullied citizens, victims of loan sharks and people who have suffered from’ndrangheta’ over the years.”
Investigators said that’ndrangheta has established bases in many regions in Western Europe, Northern and Central Europe, Australia, North and South America, and is also active in Africa.
The first three hours of the trial day were taken up by the court’s official roll call of the defendant and his lawyer. Defendants sentenced to prison for being convicted in other circumstances can follow the proceedings through a video conference.
The trial stemmed from an investigation of 12 clans connected to the convicted “ndrangheta boss”. The figure is Luigi Mancuso, who served 19 years in an Italian prison and was based in the Italian town of Vibo Valentia as one of the “ndrangheta” most powerful criminal families claimed by his leading investigators.
The prosecution said it hoped to call more than 900 witnesses.
The allegations under consideration by the court include drug and arms trafficking, extortion and mafia associations, which are terms used in Italian criminal law for members of organized criminal groups. Others were accused of conspiring with “ndrangheta” but did not actually become members.
Approximately 325 defendants were ordered to stand trial in the courts of Lamezia Terme, while another 90 investigators opted for a speedy trial, which began in Calabria later this month. Another result of the same investigation was that trials involving five murders began in other parts of Calabria in February.
The Lamezia Terme bunker is so large that dozens of video screens are fixed to the ceiling so that participants can watch the meeting minutes. There are tables for 600 lawyers, and the distance between microphones and chairs should be safe to comply with COVID-19 health regulations.
Although the number is impressive, this week’s trial is not the largest trial against a mob in Italy.
In 1986, in a similarly constructed bunker in Palermo, 475 members of Cosa Nostra, allegedly of the Sicilian Mafia, were tried and sentenced to more than 300 convictions and 19 life sentences. This trial revealed many cruel methods and murder tactics of the island’s high-ranking mob leaders, including the sensational killings in the years of power struggles that shed blood in Palermo.
In contrast, this trial against “ndrangheta” aims to convict the alleged criminal gangsters and local politicians, public officials, businessmen, and members of secret hotels for connivance, to show that the group is in the country. How deep is the foundation.
For decades,’ndrangheta’ is almost entirely based on blood relationship and is almost immune to the influence of immune coating. But their team started to become more and more important. In the Lamezia Terme trial, the state’s certification was Mancuso’s relative. Dozens of informants in the case are from’ndrangheta, but others are from the previous ranks of Cosa Nostra in Sicily and can be required to testify.
Criminal investigations revealed that “cocaine” flooded the revenue from cocaine trafficking, devouring hotels, restaurants, pharmacies, car dealerships and other businesses across Italy, especially in Rome and the affluent north.
Investigators said that the buying frenzy of the past few years has spread widely in Europe because “ndrangheta” tried to launder money but also made “clean” money by operating legal businesses (including tourism and hospitality).