In Italy, 207 defendants were sentenced in the case of the Ndrangheta criminal mafia group from the province of Calabria in the south of the country.
The three-year trial of 350 defendants was held in a specially constructed building in the city of Lamezia Terme in Calabria to ensure increased security measures.
About a third of the accused were acquitted. The court sentenced the rest to a total of more than 2,200 years in prison. The announcement of the sentence alone lasted more than one and a half hours, writes The Guardian.
Among the convicts are at least two high-ranking members of the mafia group. Each received 30 years in prison. Their accomplice – 70-year-old former lawyer Giancarlo Pitella – will spend 11 years behind bars.
Ndrangheta (from the Greek word “valor”) is considered one of the most powerful criminal syndicates in the world, extending its influence to Northern Europe, South America and the USA, and has an almost complete monopoly on the import of cocaine into Europe. Her annual income is estimated in tens of billions of euros.
The center of the mafia group was the small town of Vybo-Valentia, which was controlled by the Mancuso clan. However, Luigi Mancuso himself was not among the defendants at this trial. Ego will be judged separately.
At the same time, his nephew Emanuele Mancuso was the main witness at the trial. It was he who revealed the secrets of the clan in exchange for the protection of the police.
The investigation began back in 2016 and spread to at least 11 regions of Italy. In total, more than 2,500 police officers were involved in it. The search for the leaders was conducted by an elite unit of the Italian police – the helicopter squadron of Carabinieri “Hunters of Sicily”.
Among those arrested, accused and sentenced were not only direct members of the mafia group, but also politicians who collaborated with them. Some of them were arrested in Germany, Switzerland and even Bulgaria.
The court was presented with numerous evidence of extortion, corruption in the conclusion of state contracts, illegal storage of weapons, manipulation of the results of local elections and bribery.