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CBerry | Post - They started shooting three, four times in the middle of the road,” one ’Ndrangheta associate was heard telling
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They started shooting three, four times in the middle of the road,” one ’Ndrangheta associate was heard telling

They started shooting three, four times in the middle of the road,” one ’Ndrangheta associate was heard telling

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Uaalhaji

Nigeria


  • 6th, August 2021 (9 months ago)
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One ’Ndrangheta associate was heard telling another in a bugged chat. Another time, according to the same criminals, Maluferru let Mexican traffickers hold one of his own brothers hostage for eight days, as collateral for a two-million-euro drug shipment. This cold, calculating approach to business may run in the family. Maluferru’s father, Antonio Romeo, ran the well-connected Romeo-Staccu clan of the Ndrangheta until he was arrested in the mid-1990s and sentenced to 30 years in prison. After taking the reins of his family’s trafficking operations, Maluferru became a rare connector of worlds: a man with the necessary contacts in Latin America to secure huge supplies of cocaine, and in Europe to get the drugs through key ports. As part of a group known in underworld circles as the “Gang of Belgium,” he sourced cocaine in Colombia and Brazil, had it shipped through the Ivory Coast, and brought it in through the docks of Northwest Europe: Antwerp, Hamburg, and Rotterdam. At every stop, he charmed and bullied other narcos into doing his bidding, and deployed tricks of the trade to conceal shipments that made him one of Calabria’s biggest-ever traffickers. He had a reputation for keeping out of trouble. One client of his was heard on wiretaps saying admiringly that Maluferru had only once been “f**cked,” when 18 bricks of cocaine were seized from a stash house.   This two-part series, based on two years of research by reporters from IrpiMedia and OCCRP, explores how the ’Ndrangheta’s drug trafficking network operates. The first part focused on the group in Europe, showing how an ’Ndrangheta clan named the Giorgi-Boviciani, based in Germany, shuttled cocaine across the continent and moved the proceeds into the legal economy. In this, the second part, we plunge into the Latin American and African sides of the operation, showing how the ’Ndrangheta’s top brokers and suppliers — led in part by Calabria’s Romeo-Staccu clan — dominate ports where corruption allows the cocaine trade to thrive   Maluferru roughly translated means “armed and dangerous.” But today Giuseppe Romeo is at least no longer armed. On March 11, he was arrested in Barcelona in an Interpol-led investigation with Spain’s Guardia Civil and Italian police. Two months later, many of his ’Ndrangheta associates, including his former clients from the Giorgi-Boviciani clan, covered in Part 1 of this series, were arrested in Operation Platinum, a separate cross-border raid which targeted the crime group around Europe. Already provisionally sentenced by Italian authorities to 20 years in absentia for international drug trafficking, Maluferru has now been extradited and faces fresh charges. Once described by a fellow narco as being able to ship cocaine “mancu li cani” — meaning “like nobody else” in the Calabrian dialect — Maluferru had, since 2008, built a globe-spanning empire that moved tons of drugs into Europe’s ports. What follows, based on court and police documents, Italian orders of custody, and interviews with law enforcement sources, is an inside look at his alleged narcotics system: how it was built, how the drugs ran through it, and why it eventually collapsed.


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