German killings underline mafia's international reach says prosecutor

The execution-style murder of six Italians Wednesday in the western German town of Duisburg shows the economic clout of the Calabrian mafia - or 'Ndrangheta - Anti-mafia prosecutor Pietro Grasso said in a radio interview.

German killings underline mafia's international reach says prosecutor
The execution-style murder of six Italians Wednesday in the western German town of Duisburg shows the economic clout of the Calabrian mafia - or 'Ndrangheta - Anti-mafia prosecutor Pietro Grasso said in a radio interview.

"This economic power has spread internationally via the infiltration of European countries - Germany in particular, but not only," Grasso told Italian state broadcaster RAI.

The bullet-ridden bodies of five young Italian men were found in a vehicles parked near Duisburg railway station early on Wednesday. A sixth victim was reportedly still alive when police reached the scene but died from his wounds on the way to hospital.

The men, all aged between 16 and 25 appear to have been victims of a vendetta between families connected to the 'Ndrangheta in the southern Italian region of Calabria, Italy's interior minister Giuliano Amato has stated.

Grasso said the massacre that had occurred outside Italy was however "completely unprecedented."

"There is no longer any doubt as to the 'Ndrangheta's considerable economic power, especially in international trafficking of drugs," he said.

"It has a power that frequently impinges on local administrations and on politics," Grasso added.

"While investigators are frequently able to trace movements of drugs and invididuals via phone taps, we have difficulty in tracing the sources of money flows," he noted.

Grasso blamed this situation on "an international system where noone wants to tackle tax havens and offshore banking."

"This system needs to be destroyed if we really want to be able to beat organised crime internationally," Grasso added.

He said no country in the world is succeeding in banning international criminal organisations like the 'Ndrangheta, which are not only handling drug trafficking revenues, but also laundering money from tax evasion or slush funds and other activities.

"Drug traffickers take good care not to violate banking laws governing capital flows and are helped by advice from top financial advisors," Grasso stressed.

Italian investigators have supplied their colleagues with the results of their probes. But a failure to act by some European countries makes it difficult to prevent organised crime's commercial, financial and economic activities, Grasso said.

The picture is not entirely bleak though, he said. "Italy is cooperating fully with many European countries, including Germany. We have mapped out the areas where the Neapolitan mafia - the Camorra - and the 'Ndrangheta are operating," Grasso concluded.

Italians are Germany's second largest immigrant group, after Turks. About 540,000 Italians live in the country and are mostly well integrated.

AKI
Last Mod: 17 Ağustos 2007, 11:06
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