#1

soccer and the mafia

in Here is your first Forum Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:03 am
by zg129 • 82 Posts

<p>ROSARNO, Italy When police went after mafia boss Francesco "The Fat Head" Pesce in southern Italy, they ended up with more than they bargained for: his local soccer team, Rosarnese.</p>
The semi professional squad, controlled by the Pesce crime family for years, according to a clan member who turned state's witness in 2010, found itself placed under judicial control in 2011 and in need of new sponsors.</p>
Though soccer is virtually a religion in Italy, no new backer came forward for fear of angering the 'Ndrangheta, a powerful mafia network in Calabria, the region in the 'toe' of Italy. Last July, after a dismal season of 24 losses, five draws and just five wins, the Rosarnese team was dismantled.</p>
The demise of the soccer club, which was a small part of 220 million euros in assets law officers seized from the Pesce clan, illustrates the growing influence of the 'Ndrangheta. The group's economic clout now surpasses that of its more storied Sicilian cousin, the Cosa Nostra, Italy's top anti mafia magistrates say.</p>
"Today the Calabrian cheap nfl jerseys mafia is a national and an international force. "With a football team, the 'Ndrangheta expands both its economic reach and its political standing in a community."</p>
The 'Ndrangheta has grown rich thanks to a business strategy focused on cocaine. Just three miles from Rosarno is the huge container port of Gioia Tauro, where almost half of all the cocaine seized by police in Italy last year was found. The harbor, positioned half way between the Strait of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal, is a key commercial hub and has become the 'Ndrangheta's main artery for South American cocaine and other contraband, which it hides in the flow of legal cargo.</p>
The police have had some victories over the 'Ndrangheta and other mafia groups. Pesce, for instance, was convicted for racketeering and mafia conspiracy and is serving a 20 year sentence in a high security prison. He denies any wrongdoing and is appealing the ruling.</p>
Despite such gains, the sums involved in organized crime in Italy, which will vote in a new parliament next month, remain enormous. Taken together, Italy's main crime groups the 'Ndrangheta, the Cosa Nostra, and the Camorra from the southern city of Naples would have an annual turnover of 116 billion euros, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. That is more than the annual sales of Italy's biggest company, oil giant Eni.</p>
TRACKING THE CONTAINERS</p>
In a basement on the outskirts of Rome is a nerve centre in the fight against smuggling: the anti fraud unit of the national customs agency. There a team of 15 analysts including computer experts, a mathematician, a statistician and an electrical engineer occupies a room with 10 large flat screens showing live maps of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Investigators using sophisticated computer analysis and a vast database try to identify high risk containers heading for Italy.</p>
In particular, the unit monitors ships travelling to Gioia Tauro and passes its information to finance police in Calabria, who combine that data with intelligence gathered through more traditional investigative methods, such as Dt5FW6a9x bugged cars, wiretaps or stakeouts. But the odds of finding smuggled drugs in the giant port are stacked against the police.</p>
At the dock more than 1,000 employees load and unload containers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, closing only on Christmas and New Year's day. At night, floodlights illuminate the 2 mile long (3.2km) quay. Pinpointing a few duffle bags of cocaine the typical shipping method in recent months among the non stop cargo shuffle is like trying to find a grain of black sand on a white beach. But investigators say the duffle bags packed with super pure cocaine weigh about 40 45 kilos each and are light enough to be lifted by one man. They can be tossed into a container in a Central or South American port and removed quickly at Gioia Tauro before customs officials have a chance to intercept them. The containers are easily resealed to leave no trace.</p>
"The containers are Trojan horses," said Claudio Petrozziello, commander of the province's finance police, as container carriers whizzed around the dock behind him.</p>
Each duffle bag of cocaine is worth as much as 2.25 million euros wholesale, and about 9 million euros on the street. Mostly the Interior Ministry estimates 90 percent of the time the criminal clan's bag man, and not the police, gets to the contraband first. In June 2012, finance police found 17 black Jansport bags containing foil wrapped and vacuum sealed bricks of South American cocaine. The haul was worth more than 38 million euros wholesale, and at least four times as much on the street. The police are still hunting the smugglers.</p>
In total, the police seized in excess of two tons of cocaine at the port last year, more than double the amount of 2011, according to finance police data.</p>
Daniele Testi, a spokesman for Contship, the container terminal logistics firm at the port, said: "What is happening in Gioia Tauro is what is happening in all the world's largest ports. Contship continues to believe that the police must do all they can to fight crime. What we are trying to do is make sure that the business runs smoothly, is successful, and continues to provide jobs."</p>
A COURAGEOUS MAYOR</p>
The police have made inroads in other areas. In 2008 they planted a bug in a Rosarno laundromat and recorded a conversation between Domenico Oppedisano, a crime boss, and another mafia suspect. Oppedisano said there were 250 mobsters in the town of fewer than 15,000 people, according to a transcript of the conversation seen by Reuters.</p>
Oppedisano, 82, was later arrested for being the boss of bosses of the 'Ndrangheta's estimated 150 clans and is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence for mafia membership a crime in Italy. He denies wrongdoing and is appealing his conviction. When new mayoral elections were held two years later, Elisabetta Tripodi, who had previously worked as a secretary in city hall, won.</p>
Explaining why she took on such a challenge, Tripodi told Reuters: "I did not want Rosarno to be known as a town of racists and mobsters". As well as being blighted by the mafia, the town's image had also been tarnished by violent wholesale baseball jerseys clashes between African migrant workers and locals in January 2010.</p>
Since then, Tripodi has taken an unprecedented stand against the 'Ndrangheta, going so far as to sue Francesco "Fat Head" Pesce, 35, in civil court for damages in the case involving the soccer team and other local businesses. The court awarded the city a 50 million euro settlement, which is to be paid from a state fund of confiscated mafia cash.</p>
In retaliation, the 'Ndrangheta vandalized city property, and Tripodi received a threatening letter.</p>
"These threats convinced us that we were heading down the right path, because it meant that what we were doing was bothersome," Tripodi said.</p>
She now lives under 24 hour police protection, and when she is in her office in town hall, she closes a steel door behind her.</p>
"I've had bodyguards with me at all times for 14 months. Everything in my life has changed," she said, adding that her two sons, 12 cheapjerseys us com and 16 years old, hope that she serves only one term.</p>
Tripodi gets help from anti mafia magistrates such as Alessandra Cerreti, who confiscated the soccer team from the Pesce clan, and from the local finance police; but her bravery and altruism stand out. http://diduknow.allrh.com/blogs/post/17530<br>http://live-great.nl/oxwall/forum/topic/6390<br></p>

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#2

RE: soccer and the mafia

in Here is your first Forum Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:26 am
by yyyyy • 238 Posts

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