Ontario police crush Ndrangheta crime clan that laundered millions
Posted on: July 20, 2019, 5:18 a.m.
Last update on: July 20, 2019, 5:18 a.m.
Ontario police have arrested nine suspected high-ranking members of the powerful ‘Ndrangheta criminal family, which they say has laundered more than C $ 70 million ($ 53.5 million) at casinos across the province during the last years. The group also operated its own behind-the-scenes casinos, extorting money from players through high-interest loan sharks.
Among the detainees is Angelo Figliomeni, alias “Il Brigante” or “The Bandit”, the alleged leader of the union. He arrived in Canada in 2010 from Italy, escaping a 20-year prison sentence.
CTV reports that because he is a Canadian citizen and the crime of the mafia association does not exist in Canada, he was openly living in the Toronto suburb of Vaughan, while at the same time developing a massive crime and money laundering operation. silver.
The “Figliomeni clan” had grown so large that it would have been one of the few foreign-based ‘Ndrangheta operations to give orders to clans in Italy. Police were alerted to their operations in 2017 when they believed a spate of shootings and arson attacks in the Vaughan area indicated an ongoing mafia war.
Living the high life
In three-day raids this week, police seized more than C $ 35 million ($ 27 million) in assets, including 27 properties and 23 luxury cars. A Ferrari was valued at CAN $ 880,000 ($ 670,000). At the same time, 15 people were arrested in Italy following a parallel investigation.
“Much of their income comes from using video game machines and loans to customers to entice them to gamble regardless of the amount of debt they have incurred,” a statement read. the police. “The astronomical interest rate, or ‘juice’ as it’s called, keeps the organization in a continuous stream of illegal funds.
People caught up in this cycle were forfeiting their life savings because members of this organization used intimidation and violence, including shootings and arson, to collect unpaid debts, ”he added.
During the 18-month investigation, police wiretapped 11 cafes in the Greater Toronto Area and tracked suspected gangsters to casinos across the province to observe them cleaning up money at gaming tables, gambling from $ 30,000 to $ 50,000 per night.
Canada was seized by a money laundering scandal since it was revealed that billions of dollars had been taken away by casinos and the real estate market in British Columbia, largely by Chinese-born criminals. But some believe the problem could be much more widespread.
A recent report By the Government of British Columbia’s Expert Panel on Real Estate Money Laundering in British Columbia, British Columbia may be just the tip of the iceberg and has identified Ontario as a point hot possible dirty money.
What is’ Ndrangheta?
The ‘Ndrangheta is a criminal organization based in Calabria, the “foot” of the Italian “foot”. Although for many years considered the poor cousin of Cosa Nostra and Camorra, Italian prosecutors believe that Ndrangheta is now the most powerful criminal organization in Italy and quite possibly the world, with a presence in more from 100 countries and an estimated turnover of 50 dollars. to $ 100 billion a year.
He is believed to handle 70% of the cocaine in Europe and control much of the world’s illegal arms trade, selling arms to both sides in the Syrian civil war.