'Ndrangheta, alarm in Australia: "There are at least five thousand affiliates"

Fifty-one criminal families, of which at least 14 are direct expressions of recognized ‘Ndrangheta clans. At least five thousand affiliates, active in at least five regions. Australia is in the hands of the Italian mafias, which over the decades have become able to bind to themselves Middle Eastern criminal gangs, Asian triads and South American cartels “who are flooding the country with illicit drugs”.

This is the picture that emerges from the Ironside investigation, summarized today by the AFP Deputy Commissioner, Australian Federal Police, Nigel Ryan, who is also seriously starting to worry the authorities of the new continent.

“The clans of ‘Ndrangheta – underlined Ryan, one of the most important Australian investigators, put their illicit profits in their legitimate activities of construction, agriculture and catering”. A fact that has already emerged in past investigations, that in Australia an investigation with such a wide range had never been carried out. Details, especially on infiltrations into the economy, filter out few. But the country’s top authorities seem to have realized that “the enemy” is at home and have learned not to be seen.

“It is entirely possible that people have lived alongside men of the ‘Ndrangheta for years without even realizing it. They have been able to stay off the radar, living modest lives in modest homes and yet – said Ryan – they have infected all sectors of the economy. “. And they also found an army: the Calabrian clans are also answered by the motorcycle gangs who have signed the most violent criminal acts of recent years.

That is why there is now total war on the ‘Ndrangheta in Australia. Goal: family networks, financial movements, communications. Or at least, so it was announced. “This next phase will be long and demanding, but we are up to the challenge,” Ryan assured Australian broadcaster ABC.

Of course, there is material to work on. At the base of the investigation that allowed to reconstruct a first map of the infiltrations of the ‘Ndrangheta clans in Australia there would be an encrypted app. It is called “Anom”, it was developed by the AFP in collaboration with the FBI, and for four years it has intercepted and recorded all the messages that have been exchanged by an increasingly large nucleus of clan men and criminals who with they collaborated. A year ago an international maxi-operation was launched which led to over a thousand arrests worldwide, 383 in Australia and the seizure of 6.3 tons of illicit drugs and 55 million dollars in cash. But now that, on the basis of the more than 25 million messages intercepted, the map of the domination of the ‘Ndrangheta in Australia is starting to reconstruct the picture appears even more disturbing.

“The existence of extensive ‘Ndrangheta networks in Australia is not a new fact, their roots go back over a century ago – explains Anna Sergi, a researcher at the University of Essex who has been studying the roots of Calabrian clans in Australia for years – It is certainly a good sign that the police are finally working towards a more coordinated anti-mafia action. Perhaps in this way we will soon also investigate the real weight and influence of the clans in the country, starting from infiltrations into politics, to totally underestimated at the moment, without limiting oneself to the purely criminal plan linked to drug trafficking “.

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