Economic crisis means the Mafia is now ‘Italy’s number one bank’: report
Organized crime has tightened its grip on the Italian economy during the economic crisis, making the Mafia the country’s biggest “bank” and squeezing the life out of thousands of small firms, according to a report on Tuesday.
Extortionate lending by criminal groups had become a “national emergency,” said the report by anti-crime group SOS Impresa. Organized crime now generated annual turnover of about €140-billion ($178.89 billion) and profits of more than €100-billion, it added.
“With 65-billion euros in liquidity, the Mafia is Italy’s number one bank,” said a statement from the group, which was set up in Palermo a decade ago to oppose extortion rackets against small business.
Extortionate lending had become an increasingly sophisticated and lucrative source of income, alongside drug trafficking, arms smuggling, prostitution, gambling and racketeering, the report said. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images/Files)