Revealed: The incredible rat-infested escape tunnels and secret bunkers that Italy's 'Ndrangheta mafia use to hide from police
Fake tunnels, trapdoors and dead-ends abound, suggesting only a select few actually know the correct routes down the rat-infested tunnels to the safety of the bunkers
Stunning new images have been released of the network of underground tunnels and bunkers that Italian mafia organisations use to hide from law enforcement.
Covered in rat faeces, drug paraphernalia and dirt, the bunkers are a stark contrast to the billion euro drugs and extortion business that has turned one crime group – the ‘Ndrangheta - into an organisation suspected of making considerably more money each year than Italy’s largest legitimate business, Fiat.
The ‘Ndrangheta are based in Calabria, the sun-kissed toe to Italy’s boot but, although they are considerably less well-known than the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Camorra of Campania, they have gone on to dominate organised crime across Europe in recent years.
Among the world’s largest traffickers of cocaine, members of the group have recently been arrested in ‘Ndrangheta outposts as far-flung as Australia, the USA, South America and the Middle East.
The small, slow-paced Calabrian hill towns in which the group emerged, and from where its individual families (known as ‘Ndrinas) are still run, downplay what has become one of the largest and best organised multinational criminal establishments in the world.
With its emphasis on strong familial bonds between members, the ‘Ndrangheta have managed to avoid the vast number of informers, known as pentiti, that have so blighted other Italian organised crime groups in recent years. It has also meant the group has retained a sense of Calabrian identity wherever its members migrate; ensuring the group’s values and methods are not diluted in any way.
As their power and income increased however, so did the attention the ‘Ndrangheta received from law enforcement.
As a result crime bosses constructed a network of tunnels beneath the Calabrian countryside, in order to allow quick escapes into hidden bunkers and safe houses.
Fake tunnels, trapdoors and dead-ends abound, suggesting only a select few actually know the correct routes down the rat-infested tunnels to the relative safety and comfort of the bunkers.
In fact, comfort appears to be something criminals on the run take very seriously.
One bunker was fitted with a full wood-fired pizza oven, while others have been found with stacks of books and battery operated gadgets. Another common find in the bunkers is paraphernalia connected to both drug consumption and the preparation of drugs for sale.
It seems that, even when they’re “on the lam”, Calabria’s mafioso are busy working to secure their income.
This World: The Mafia's Secret Bunkers will be shown tonight on BBC2 at 21:00 and later on the BBC iPlayer.
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 4 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...