Calabria, Italy may not have been on the list of the places you're thinking of traveling to anytime soon, but, this week, it became the site for one of the biggest organized crime criminal trials in the history of the country. 355 people, with said ties to the Ndrangheta crime syndicate, the largest mafia organization in Italy, are on trial for a number of criminal acts.
The 'Ndragheta mafia has its hand in illegal businesses all over the globe. They are known drug traffickers, operate illegal sportsbooks and casinos, and much more. They were also linked to the Wirecard payment method, which fell off the radar after over USD $3bn went missing in 2020.
The city of Calabria has been overwhelmed by security personnel, in attempts to keep everyone in the area safe, as they do not want it to turn into a scene from classic stories like in The Godfather. Nicola Gratteri, the public prosecutor has been under police protection for over 3 decades and has dedicated his life to bringing an end to organized crime in Italy. In the past, mobsters have had no issue in killing prosecutors, witnesses, and anyone else that could be thought to assisting sending them to jail.
Over 1,500 Betting Facilities
Over the years, a number of reports have been made that link the Ndrangheta crime syndicate to over 1,500 betting shops and since the advent of online gambling, to over 80 sites. More recently, 68 criminals with ties to the mafia were arrested in a raid, but, the syndicate didn't even slow its operation down.
It is fitting that it was one of the mob bosses' sons has helped the police build a case against the 355 people on trial. He lives in hiding and remains a target by those that look for revenge.
To make matters worse, there isn't a facility in Calabria that is big enough to act as a courtroom to hold everyone charged. A call center has been transformed into a makeshift courtroom where alleged boss Luigi Mancuso, aka "The Uncle," probably the main attraction in this trial, will stand before the judge.