by La Gazzetta del Sud

The mafia in Italy made an estimated 16.7 billion euros last year by illegally trafficking waste and exploiting the environment, a report released Monday said. According to environmental group Legambiente, over 34,000 environmental crimes were recorded in 2012, with 28,132 people charged and over 8,000 properties and accounts confiscated. The number of organized gangs involved grew from 296 to 302, while the number of city governments dissolved for mafia infiltration more than quadrupled on the year, from 6 to 25, said the 2013 Eco-mafia Report, which relied on police data. Also on the rise were instances of forest arson, unlawful building, and corruption, the later of which saw a two-fold increase.