The Cosa Nostra may be the most famous criminal group in Italy, but they are no longer thought to be the most powerful, thanks to a series of high profile arrests and defections.Instead, a new, more secretive, and more impenetrable group has emerged from the Southern region of Calebria to become the de facto controller of Europe’s drug trade. The ‘Ndrangheta.
So who are these shadowy newcomers? Let’s take a look.
The FBI believes that the 'Ndrangheta group was formed in the 1860s by a group of Sicilians exiled from their native island.
Italian officials have estimated that 80 per cent of Europe's cocaine now enters through the Calebrian coast.
It's though that much as 3 per cent of the Italian GDP may be a result of the actions of the 'Ndrangheta
In 1991, the members killed a butcher in the village of Taurianova in broad daylight. They cut off his head with one of his own knives and used the head for target practice in the village's main piazza.
No witnesses ever came forward.
Before 2008, there were 1,000 pentiti (informants) from the Sicily's Cosa Nostra, 2,000 from Naples's Camorra and only 42 with the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta.
Despite their wealth Ndrangheta remains rooted in small villages in Calabria, in particular two hamlets, Plati and San Luca.
In 2006 police seized a submarine that had been built by the 'Ndrangheta, with the hope of smuggling drugs from Colombia.
The group have been largely responsible for the mafia infiltration of Milan, formerly a safe haven from the chaos of Southern Italy
This video, released by Spanish police, shows the moment undercover officers arrested Carmelo Gallico, the head of one 'Ndrangheta clan, in Barcelona.
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