Italian justice has delivered its verdict in the XXL trial of more than 300 alleged members of the ‘Ndrangheta, the most powerful mafia in Italy, which holds a virtual monopoly on cocaine trafficking in Europe. Nearly 5,000 years of imprisonment were required against 322 defendants, ranging from little hands to the godfathers of this criminal organization, as well as their accomplices, including civil servants, local elected officials and even high-ranking police officers. The trial, which took place in a heavily guarded bunker in Lamezia Terme, is the largest against the mafia in more than 30 years.
Of the 338 people charged, more than half were sentenced to sentences ranging from a few months to thirty years in prison. Among these convicts is a lawyer, former elected official of Forza Italia, sentenced to 11 years in prison for his support of the Calabrian mafia.
The charges include a variety of crimes such as mafia association, drug trafficking, extortion, usury and dirty money laundering.-
This is the first time that a trial of this size has deeply affected the Calabrian mafia. There will be an appeal trial but it is a semi-success for the prosecutor who has lived under escort for 35 years.-
The trial also highlighted the ‘Ndrangheta’s infiltration of the legal economy, with business leaders, mayors and civil servants, including a high-ranking police officer, among the accused. Threats and violence against those who oppose the mafia have come to light, illustrating the brutality of the organization. Notable people are also involved.
Although long underestimated in favor of other mafias like Cosa Nostra, the ‘Ndrangheta has quietly flourished over the decades. Currently, it is estimated to achieve an annual turnover of around 50 billion euros worldwide. Through international cooperation, Italy has tightened its grip on the ‘Ndrangheta in recent years, prompting law enforcement agencies around the world to recognize and combat the activities of this criminal organization on their territory.