The southern Italian N’drangheta has eclipsed the Mafia in terms of its might as a criminal organisation with global influence. When it comes to lucre, this Calabrian group is outpacing McDonald’s and Deutcshe Bank, combined.
In 2013, organisation earned EUR53bn (USD73bn), according to a report published by the Demoskopika, an Italian investigative agency.
A quick breakdown of the annual revenue reveals the usual suspects are responsible for generating the lion’s share of the illicit funds.
- Drug trafficking – EUR24.2bn (USD33.35bn)
- Waste disposal – EUR19.6bn (USD27bn)
- Extortion and usury – EUR2.9bn (USD3.9bn)
- Embezzlement – EUR2.4bn (USD3.3bn)
- Gambling – EUR1.3bn (USD1.7bn)
- Arms, prostitution, counterfeit goods, people smuggling – EUR1bn (USD1.3bn)
That is a lot of money; and it has gone into the banking system somewhere.
The N’drangheta’s bankers may have given up on driving the cash north of the border to Switzerland, and depositing it in opaque accounts and sadly the report makes no mention of how the filthy lucre is laundered.
But we can glean some clues from the figures given. The organisation has a vast network of more than 60,000 operatives active in 30 countries, according to the report. Some of those operatives maybe on the payroll, loyal members of the criminal hierarchy who receive a regular salary from their paymasters for overseeing and running operations. Others may be used once a year or, called upon to repay a long held debt, or more likely, whose specialist skills are not needed in the everyday running of a criminal organisation.
Some of those operatives might be lawyers, accountants, business owners and bankers whose services are required to place, layer and integrate the vast funds earned by the N’drangheta into the financial system.
Because EUR53bn is an awful lot to hide in your mattress, even if it is in EUR500 notes.
Source – The Guardian