'Ndrangheta mafia family makes more money than McDonald's and Deutsche Bank combined, report claims

Warnings that Mob’s influence is spreading overseas

Rome

One of Italy’s most notorious mafia groups made more money last year than McDonald’s and Deutsche Bank put together, a study has claimed.

A report by the Demoskopika research institute in Rome has said that the annual turnover of the 'Ndrangheta organised crime syndicate was around €53bn – the equivalent to about 2.5% of Italy’s GDP.

The size of the profits, based on the mafia’s traditional money-spinners including drug dealing, illegal rubbish disposal, extortion, embezzlement, arms sales, prostitution and people-smuggling, make the crime family bigger than numerous global conglomerates.

The claims also highlight concerns that mafia groups’ power and influence is rising unchecked – with some warning the Mob is increasingly spreading its tendrils overseas. The ‘Ndrangheta is thought to have around 60,000 people worldwide involved in its activities, the report said

Giovanni Brauzzi, the security policy director at the Italian foreign ministry, said of the international dimension of Italian organised crime groups: “They invest only 10 per cent of this budget in Italy; the rest they invest in countries in Europe and elsewhere. They have good friends everywhere.”

Organised crime has infiltrated “the most important companies working in financial transactions,” added Mr Brauzzi. “Corruption is the easiest way of doing business in their framework,” he said.

Speaking at a conference in Brussels, Mr Brauzzi claimed that, with an annual income in excess of €200bn, the combined turnover of all the country’s mafia groups had exceeded that of the entire European Union budget.

The news comes as the centre-right Forza Italia party, led by disgraced former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, was this week accused of trying to kill a bill aimed at halting the Mafia’s ability to sell votes in the south of Italy to corrupt politicians.

The money-for-votes racket is a key means by which the Mafia earns money and maintains power and influence.

The legislation, which has already passed through the Senate, aims to make vote rigging in collusion with the Mafia a criminal offence. But it is at risk of being smothered by 1,000 or so amendments from Forza Italia MPs.

Rosy Bindi, the centre-left head of the parliamentary anti-Mafia commission attacked the centre-right’s tactics. “This is very serious. We are one step away from a reform that has been long awaited,” she said.

The latest estimate of mob income is up 42 per cent from the 2012 figure produced by the Confesercenti employers organisation, which in 2012 claimed that the Mafia generated an annual turnover of €140bn.

The 2012 Confesercenti report, entitled SOS Impresa (SOS Enterprise), said a growing number of small and medium-sized businesses were coming into contact with Mafia which it described as the “biggest bank” in the country with €65bn in liquidity.

The long and brutal recession combined with the reluctance of Italy’s conservative banks to lend money, has seen many more businesses turn to organised crime for help, experts have warned. In October last year a report underlined the how the failure to adequately scrutinise the awarding of public contracts was also swelling Mafia coffers.

News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
Sport
Premier League Live Saturday 23 August
sportAll the action from today's Premier League matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

JavaScript Developer (C++ / C# / HTML, Java Angular.js) London

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A world leading business intellig...

Application Support Analyst-(UNIX, Linux, Financial Services)

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support Analyst-(UNIX...

Application Support Analyst - SQL, UNIX, Linux

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support Analyst - SQL...

Application Support - FIX protocol, UNIX, SQL, Windows, OMS

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support - FIX protoco...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition