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.
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 3 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 4 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
- 5 Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: Dublin in party mood ahead of historic poll result
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...