Italian recipe for fighting mafia

The Chapter 24 in the accession negotiations with the EU, which Serbia opened in July, stipulates fighting organized crime as one of the problems that Serbia has to tackle. Italy is at the very helm in Europe when it comes to combating organized crime. Italy is also the best instructor when it comes to teaching other countries how to deal with organized crime because of its extensive experience.

Cosa Nostra, ‘Ndrangheta, Camorra, and Mafia Romana have all been giving nightmares to the Italian police and courts. Although, the mafia still gets most of its revenue from dealing drugs and weapons and human trafficking, things have been changing there too – from murders and armed showdowns they moved to bribery and forging invoices. Also, they are no longer satisfied with staying locally and fighting ‘turf wars’.

Although the mafia has spread its activities all over the country, it has become noticeable that they don’t have such a strong hold as before. Also, it has become easier to identify the people involved in mafia business. Recently, 21 civil servants have been arrested on suspicion on rigging tenders worth 500 million EUR in favour of Cosa Nostra – says Professor Alessandro Chechi, an expert on mafia.

The first organized crime group in Italy was formed in the 19the century while the state authorities started fighting organized crime only in the mid-20th century.

Italy has been very clear about its resolve to fight mafia with the help from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, and numerous other state bodies and units.

The State District Attorney or Director of Prosecutions, as called in Italy, is at the helm of this process and he is completely independent in his work.

Italy got a serious wakeup call when judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino were murdered in Sicily in the early 1990s following the orders of Cosa Nostra. Two and a half decades later, the fight against mafia still rests on the four pillars established by judge Falcone.

“The first pillar is searching for and arresting big bosses who have been on the run for years. The second pillar is their imprisonment and isolation in order to try to stopping them from doing business and communicating with the rest of the world from prison. The third pillar is continuing investigation and police work with the goal of preventing the rise of new bosses, and the fourth is seizing the assets of mobsters because being wealthy is one of the reasons why people do organized crime”, the assistant state attorney in charge of prosecuting mafia, Maurizio De Lucia says.

A special unit, numbering 65,000 people, is in charge of arresting mafia members, seizing their assets and intercepting smuggling boats. Today, Italy shares its experiences with Europe after realizing that cooperation is the only way to tackle crime. It is Italy and the cooperation with its judiciary and police that Serbia will learn the most from.

(RTS, 03.11.2016)

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This post is also available in: Italiano

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