Witnesses will be asked to respond to claims the ’Ndrangheta has laundered billions of euros in City of London. Da The Guardian.
In a high-security, 1,000-capacity courtroom converted from a call centre, Italy’s largest mafia trial in three decades is under way in Lamezia Terme, Calabria. About 900 witnesses are set to testify against more than 350 defendants, including politicians and officials charged with being members of the ’Ndrangheta, Italy’s most powerful criminal group.
Several of the defendants will be asked to respond to charges of money laundering over establishing companies in the UK with the alleged purpose of simulating legitimate economic activity.
“’Ndrangheta interests in the UK have figured prominently as clans have used the country as an investment and money-laundering base,” says Nicola Gratteri, the prosecutor whose investigation has culminated in the maxi-trial.
The ’Ndrangheta – based in the southern region of Calabria, the toe of the Italian boot – is reputed to be one of the richest and most feared criminal organisations in the world. A study by the Demoskopita Research Institute in 2013 estimated its financial strength as more than that of Deutsche Bank and McDonald’s combined, with an annual turnover of €53bn (£44bn).