Wednesday, November 2, 2005
From People'sDailyOnline.com: "The Calabria-based mafia organisation made 36 billion euros (43.6 US dollars) last year, Italian media reported on Sunday. The report by Italian social research institute Eurispes said the criminal revenue in 2004 equalled 3.4 percent of Italian GDP. Drug trafficking was the organisation's most profitable business, generating 22.3 billion euros (26.7 billion dollars), Eurispes said.
Skimming off money from public works contracts and general business corruption were the next most lucrative activities, netting the group more than 4.7 billion euros (5.7 billion dollars). Prostitution and arms trafficking made the 'Ndrangheta an estimated 4.6 billion (5.6 billion dollars) while extortion and loan-sharking brought in 4.1 billion (4.9 billion dollars), the report said.
It stressed that the 'Ndrangheta's grip on the southern region was having a devastating social impact. The 'Ndrangheta is believed to have been responsible for the murder of an important local politician earlier this month. Franco Fortugno, deputy chairman of the regional "parliament", was gunned down on October 16 as he voted in centre-left primary elections in the town of Locri. The slaying shocked the country and fuelled fears that the ' Ndrangheta had become even more powerful and dangerous than the Sicilian Mafia, Italian media said. " [Mark Godsey]