Articles by IRPI members about organized crime, corruption and public money.
Italian authorities have announced the arrest of 71 suspected members of the country’s most powerful crime syndicate on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
Francesco Strangio, 38, had been on the run for over a year since he was sentenced to 14 years in prison for masterminding a massive drug trafficking ring.
In the country’s two main breeding regions, 98% of farmers rely on the banned, traumatic practice of routinely cutting pigs’ tails
A two-year investigation culminated this week with 90 arrests, splitting wide open a mafia coalition that trafficked drugs to Europe from across the world. Here’s how the clans ran it.
In December 2009, Italian and British authorities closed a £100 million betting firm operating out of west London in a huge police operation against a family allegedly connected to mafia groups.
Heaven and the underworld meet at a Catholic festival in the mountains of Calabria.
An analysis of data obtained through a Freedom of Information request revealed the size of the bill racked up by the Italian coastguard, which was called in to provide assistance in the politically-charged operation.
He is one of the most well-known ‘Ndrangheta bosses who was wanted since 2016 when he received a 2.5-year prison sentence for attempted extortion and mafia affiliation.
A court in Verona sentenced in 2007 Salvatore Longo to more than nine years in prison for extortion and usury. He had acquired a new identity and lived in Mexico where he ran a pizza restaurant in Tijuana.
British company uses supplier currently under investigation for exploiting migrant workers who pick fruit sold in UK and European supermarkets.
The clan was able to even infiltrate Germany. According to prosecutors, they completely controlled certain economic activities in Italy, including waste management, lodging, running migrants centres, and online gaming.
“The Mafia family of Santa Maria di Gesù is one of the strongest and oldest in the Cosa Nostra. It was able to reorganize internally after each police operation so far,” said Colonel Antonio Di Stasio, who led the operation.
Court documents reveal that fruit from two food giants on UK supermarket shelves was picked by workers in southern Italy under ‘conditions of absolute exploitation’.
Key to the investigations were Angelo Romeo, a drug trafficker and member of the Alvaro clan and his Rome contact, cocaine broker Mauro De Bernardis.
Italian journalist Paolo Borrometi was forced to move to Rome from Sicily because of threats connected with his reporting on organized crime. Borrometi’s story is far from unique.
Rocco Morabito, 51, was one of those ‘Ndrangheta members who were good enough in trafficking cocaine from Latin America to Europe without being caught for decades.
Dressed in shorts and acting as tourists, agents kept their eyes peeled on the villa for a whole week, carefully following the moves of the woman who was taking care of the old lady living there.
From Calabria, the ‘Ndrangheta stretches its tentacles throughout Europe. We tell the story of a police operation that led to the bust of 116 of its alleged members and how ‘Ndrangheta operates a state within a state.
“U Capra” – or “the Goat” – had escaped arrest after being sentenced in 1994 to a jail term of 28 years and eight months for international drug trafficking. Authorities thought for long he was hiding in Germany or Latin America.
Anti mafia prosecutors in Milan accused the arrested of money laundering, tax-related violations and criminal association with the Sicilian Cosa Nostra.
The ones arrested allegedly siphoned off over 30 million euros in state funds in the past decade, investigators say.
Rocco Barbaro has been fugitive since 2015, when he was sentenced for association in mafia and for a property fictitiously registered. The Italian Interior Minister shortlisted Barbaro among the 30 most dangerous fugitives in Italy.
The EU is spending millions forcibly sending people back to their home countries with one case costing up to €90,000 per head. An EUobserver probe of some 100 joint return flights coordinated by the EU’s border agency, Frontex, has revealed some startling facts.
Pasquale Michael Assisi was arrested after prosecutors charged him two years ago with international drug trafficking along with his brother Patrick Assisi, his father Nicola Assisi and 12 others
Suspects were arrested after authorities chased their speedboat for nearly 22 hours across the Mediterranean Sea in a movie-like operation involving high speed boats, helicopters and planes.
Police in Italy arrested Tuesday the boss of a Sicilian mafia family and five of his aids for extortion and for forcing people to vote in elections for a candidate close to the organization.
Prosecutors claim the Piromalli clan controlled the Calabrian town of Gioia Tauro and it’s important port situated along the route connecting Suez to Gibraltar – one of the world’s busiest maritime corridors.
The criminal network was allegedly planning to import more than eight tons of cocaine, worth €1.6 billion (US$ 1.8 billion) from Colombia.
They are believed to have lured more than 200 people into investing in an “eight star” resort in Belize that was never built.
The suspects are believed to be linked to the ‘Ndrangheta crime group’s Morabito-Bruzzaniti-Palamara clan which allegedly smuggles large quantities of cocaine from South America to Italy.
Italian police arrested nearly two dozen alleged members of the country’s Mafia on Tuesday, accusing them of conspiring to rig a local election in the southern city of Bari.
Police in Italy launched nationwide raids on Tuesday uncovering what they said was involvement of the country’s ‘Ndrangheta criminal organization in Milan’s Expo 2015.
The Italian mob is getting into historic renovation, according to prosecutors.
Thousands of migrants are living in squalid conditions in Rosarno, southern Italy, harvesting oranges for consumers across Europe.
Two Romanian men have been sentenced to 27 years each behind bars in Turin, Italy, for Mafia association, among other offenses.
A new scandal has shaken the sacred walls of the Vatican in Rome.
Italian police together with Costa Rican authorities have arrested seven people in Costa Rica, charging them with the international trafficking of cocaine.
Il centro di giornalismo di inchiesta Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) ha vinto il Global Light Shining Award
Italian police have frozen € 11 million in assets belonging to a businessman accused of working for organized crime and importing arms from Yugoslavia during the civil war.
Gambling executive Mario Gennaro was arrested Wednesday by Italian police along with his associate Domenico Lagrotteria and 49 others accused in an online gambling tax evasion operation valued at € 2 billion.
An operation involving police in Italy, the United States and Spain has resulted in the arrests of 33 people as they attempted to crack a drug ring that allegedly brought four tons of cocaine into Europe in the past two years.
Prosecutors in Tirana have issued arrest warrants for the Italian entrepreneur Francesco Becchetti, majority owner of London’s Leyton Orient football club.
Italian police have arrested 44 people suspected of involvement in an underworld scheme that rigged tenders and skimmed off huge sums of money from public works contracts, including tenders aimed at helping a recent influx of refugees to the country.
Italian police have cracked open a Camorra-type crime gang based in Rome, arresting 61 suspects linked to the group. The clan is known as the “Napoletani of Tuscolana,” a borough of Rome.
As Japan imposes new laws that threaten to restrict the freedom of the press, some Japanese reporters and activists are seeking new ways to conduct investigative journalism.
For a long time, the crash site was a macabre killing field. The passengers´ bodies began to decompose in the hot Ukrainian summer as fighting continued – and people looted the luggage.
All three suspects are charged with conspiracy to kill US agents and conspiracy to provide resources or support to a terrorist organization.
The Carabinieri arrested 37 people and launched investigations against 100 others, a number that is expected to grow. The group includes members of a well-known criminal group along with politicians from the two main parties.
Investigative journalist and ICIJ-OCCRP member Khadija Ismayilova was taken into custody in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday, as part of an ongoing campaign of harassment by the country’s authorities.
Albanian citizen Sali Huqi, 32, is in custody in Orvieto after his arrest in Umbria Aug. 3 on an Interpol warrant for arms trafficking.
In 2007, Rappa was sentenced to four years in prison for Mafia association. Upon his death in 2009, his assets were transferred to his sons and nephews.
On March 13 Italian law enforcement agencies seized assets worth nearly US$600 million from suspected organized crime figures in two separate operations that stretched from Rome to the toe of Italy’s boot.
According to Italian prosecutors, organized crime figures manipulated the bid process for a high-speed railway project related to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, as well as a more recent tourism development project in northwestern Italy.
The European Parliament has approved a directive that will make it easier for member states to freeze and confiscate criminal assets across the continent, reports a European Parliament press release.
The operation, dubbed New Bridge, involved collaboration between the Italian crime syndicate ‘Ndrangheta and the New York- based Gambino family of the Mafia.
Around US$540 million was seized in Tuesday’s sting targeting the Zaza clan of the Camorra organized crime group in Italy.
A financial empire involving nearly 100 companies, 174 pieces of real estate, 32 vehicles, and two large yachts was seized Jan. 31 by the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian financial police.
The Turin financial police issued 14 arrest warrants for members of “one of the largest drug-trafficking gangs in Italy,” authorities say.
Italian police have jailed a leading captain of La Cosa Nostra in Sicily, according to Caltanissetta Police Commissioner Marzia Giustolisi.
Italian police issued more than 90 arrest warrants in a nation-wide operation against the Camorra, a Mafia-style organization that originated in Naples. Authorities also seized US$ 340 million of its assets.
Cipriano Chianese was sent to jail today. He has been the entrepreneur who helped Camorra establishing trafficking of toxic and hazardous waste from the North of Italy and Europe to Campania, Italy.
The chronicles of recent trials give an insight on the state of organised crime in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the rest of the Balkans.
According to the Italian police, in Albania there are hundreds of marijuana plantations for export. One of the most renowned production centers is the village of Lazarat.
Captured in 1994 and sentenced to 17 years in high security prisons for international drug trafficking, El Viejo managed the logistics of cocaine cargos from production to delivery sites, trafficking cocaine by the tons.
Was Silvio Berlusconi’s rise to power founded on an “original sin” — a secret deal between politicians and the Mafia to stop its violence in exchange for political protection?
After having escaped an operation by the Bosnian police, Naser Keljmendi was arrested in Kosovo on May 5th. He is accused of murder, drug trafficking and allegedly runs networks extended throughout the Balkans.
Prosecutors allege politicians agreed to roll back laws targeting the Mafia in exchange for a cooling of violence. The potential outcomes of this trial could be devastating to officials and local Mafia.
El Viejo (the Old Man) is a former cocaine broker who knows exactly how it was done in the 1980s, before he was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to jail.
Snatching people off the streets. Hanging people from the ceiling. A man freezing to death alone on a concrete floor. This is the story of how the United States used its position to cajole, persuade, and strong-arm 54 other countries to take part in the CIA’s post-9/11 campaign of secret detention and torture.
The environmental disaster of Campania region, placed in the South of Italy – caused by years of illegal trafficking of toxic waste and endless waste emergencies – can be compared to an outbreak of HIV.
Faced with mounting unemployment and an old-fashioned media market, many journalists consider these meetings to be a wave of energy and an important resource for improving their skillsets.
In this climate of change and need for transparency brought by the economic crisis and the previous decades of political corruption, now the wind of justice and transparency seems to be shaking the peninsula.
The dumping and trafficking of waste, illegal construction of roads, bridges and buildings, fraud in food products or control of the food market, crimes in the clean energy business, arson, trafficking of animals and archeological items.
Only one out of ten schools in Italy, among those considered at risk, have undergone a seismology control. According to the Minister of infrastructures, 22,858 schools are considered highly at risk.
At the moment, there is a political void. There is still not a government and we do not know what will happen. In Serbia, the police cannot function on their own, like in northern European countries.
The long-term Japanese plan of reprocessing radioactive waste is still waiting in Rokkasho. The village has become from 1980s onwards a centre for various energy developments, especially nuclear power.
It’s a battle lasting for almost one and a half century the one between Italian mafias and the State. A war that has long gone over ordinary battlefields.
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan on March 11 also shook major Italian media outlets as readers accused them of sensationalism and lack of professionalism.
Most of the survivors of the tsunami still live in temporary homes, some have already received permanent accommodation, others are gone and perhaps will never come back.