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  1. Mafia Earnings


A hitman for the Italian Mafia told explained to police how much he was paid for committing a murder on behalf of organized crime.

According to press reports, the man told police he would charge $3,700 to kneecap a person.

In two of the murders that he confessed to, the hitman stated that he was paid nearly $20,000 to deal a cocaine dealer, and $27,000 for killing a loan shark.

(See more prices of murders committed by contract hitmen.)

Source:  David Harding, “Mafia hitman in Italy tells investigators how much he charged for different jobs, including more than $20K for murder,” New York Daily News, March 7, 2015.

From 1990 to 2012, over 10 million tons of waste is believed to have been collected by Mafia groups in Italy and burned at illegal trash sites, according to environmental group Legambiente.

Criminal justice programs in  Italy reported 82 investigations of the mafia and the arrest of over 900 members. 443 waste collection companies have were also investigated during this time.

In certain areas surrounding Naples where many illegal dumping sites are located, the cancer rates of its residents has increased by as much as 50 percent. 

(What is racketeering? Learn more about organized crime rackets.)

In addition to the health risks, industries in Italy are losing market share as customers become concerned about leakage from the trash dumping. The Mozzarella industry saw a drop of 30 percent in sales for November 2013 as a result from trash concerns, representing a loss of $27.5 Million.

In 2012, the Italian Mafia is estimated to have made $1.2 Billion from illegal waste dumping.

To legitimately dispose of trash costs about $826 per ton.

Source:  Silvia Marchetti, “The New Vesuvius Smothers Italy’s Prime Products,” Newsweek, January 1, 2014.

Security services in Italy estimate that the organized crime group  ‘Ndragheta brings in up to $65 Billion (£40 Billion) a year in black market revenue.

One of the main revenue sources is in cocaine trafficking, where ‘Ndragheta controls up to 80 percent of the cocaine imported into Europe.

Another key areas of money is from “pizzo”, or the Mob Tax. Between 2008 and 2013, the European Union have granted $4.1 Billion (£2.5 Billion) in public works projects such as new roads to areas controlled by the “Ndraheta. Portions of these government money ends up being paid by construction firms to the syndicate.

Out of the total revenue that is collected, a third of the money is reinvested back into its criminal operations. The remaining money is either laundered into legitimate businesses, or is used to pay bribes to police officers and politicians.

(What is racketeering? See more examples here.)

Source:  Nigel Blundell, “The new godfathers: Deadlier and MORE secretive than the Sicilian mafia,” Mirror Online, December 8, 2013.


In towns surrounding the city of Naples in Italy, the cancer rate has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past two decades. Health care agencies and security services are attributing the rise in tumors to illegal toxic waste dumping activities conducted by the Mafia.

The Italian mafia won contracts to dispose of toxic waste, yet simply dumped the materials in illegal, unauthorized sites. According to released documents, millions of tons of nuclear waste from Germany was dumped on farms, lakes and caves near Naples.

The toxic materials infected the surrounding environment, causing cancer rates in increase. In the last two decades, the cancer rates for men in the region increased by 47 percent and increased 40 percent for women.

(Additional impact of organized crime today.)

Source:  David Harding, “Mafia’s dumping of toxic waste blamed for high cancer rates in Italy,” New York Daily News, November 3, 2013.

A report by the Italian farming lobby states that the mafia in Italy controls $19.2 Billion worth of farming activity in the country. The value of farming for the Mafia increased by 12 percent from 2011.

Nearly 25 percent of all Mafia properties seized by police was farmland, according to the report.

15 percent of all farming activity in Italy was linked in some way to organized crime.

The Mafia is also involved in stealing farm animals and farm equipment and resells them on the black market.

(What is racketeering? What is extortion? See examples here.)

Source:  Tom Kington, “Italy: Mafia escapes to the country,” Scotsman, October 29, 2013.

Between 1992 and 2010, there have been a total of 3,374 killings committed by the four main mafia syndicates in Italy. The groups are Cosa Nostra, ‘Ndragheta, Camorra, and the Sacra Corona Unita (United Holy Crown, or SCU).

The table below listing the number of killings from 2000 to 2010.

Year Cosa Nostra ‘Ndrangheta Camorra SCU Total
2000 17 45 86 26 174
2001 31 39 68 25 163
2002 18 30 54 23 125
2003 13 33 77 37 160
2004 17 45 122 19 203
2005 18 42 72 7 139
2006 14 23 77 8 122
2007 12 16 85 4 117
2008 12 22 59 9 102
2009 19 11 49 7 86
2010 10 24 18  15 67

Source:  Small Arms Survey, “Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers,” Chapter 4: Guns in the Family; Mafia Violence in Italy, page 83.

(More information about mafia killings and organized crime.)

As of 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) estimated that the five crime families in New York City has roughly 700 full-time members and up to 7,000 associates.

The NYC office of the FBI had roughly 36 agents who were assigned to investigating organized crime activities.

The five families of the Mafia in New York City are the Bonannos, the Colombos, the Gambinos, the Genovesse and the Lucheses.

Source:  William K. Rashbaum, “F.B.I. Will Fight the Mafia With Fewer Investigators,” New York Times, June 28, 2013.

United States Security Threats and Crimes.

Italian mafia organization ‘Ndrangheta is believed to control up to 80 percent of Europe’s cocaine imports.

Source:  Tristan Dessert, “In the footsteps of the ‘Ndrangheta, the most powerful branch of Italian mafia,” Franc 24, May17, 2013.

The following is the estimated revenue of Mafia syndicates in Italy based upon data from the Interior Ministry and other crime statistics.

Camorra: $5 Billion (€3.75 Billion)

‘Ndrangheta: $4.6 Billion (€3.5 Billion)

Cosa Nostra: $2.5 (€1.9 Billion)

In terms of size and market reach, the Camorra and ‘Ndrangheta together account for 70 percent of all racketeering by organized crime groups in the country.

Source:  “Italy wants cross border action to tackle the mafia,” euronews, February 15, 2013.

FIFA, (The International Federation of Association Football) estimates that organized crime syndicates make up to $15 Billion a year by fixing football (American Soccer) matches.

One single match fixing scandal in Italy is estimated to have made the Camorra and Mafia syndicates $2.6 Billion in earnings.

(More earnings from under the table jobs and crime.)

Gambling investigations in Italy found that it costs up to $516,0000 to fix a football match in the top Italian league. In Croatia, a match could be fixed for $25,600.

(More match fixing statistics.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Soccer faces epic fight against match-fixing,” Google News, February 12, 2013.