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Germany hotbed of Italian Mafia: SPD

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Members of the German Special Police Force.

German experts have warned that Germany is now a ‘promised land’ for Italian organized crime as four largest Mafia syndicates are operating in the country under perfect conditions.

The opposition Social Democrat (SPD) party in the southeast state of Bavaria cautioned against the phenomenon on Friday and called for tougher coordinated police action against the crime gangs, English-language The Local news website reported.

It also proposed a hearing of experts to investigate the situation.

Police expert of the Bavarian SPD Harald Schneider criticized bureaucratic barriers to cooperation between Italian and German authorities.

“From the perspective of colleagues (in the police) Germany is a promised land for the Mafia” Schneider, the former head of the Bavarian police union, said at a meeting of the local SPD fraction in Munich on Friday.

Schneider said Europe-wide rules were needed to ensure police are able to cooperate across borders, and that more police resources should be concentrated on the fight against the Mafia in Germany.

Meanwhile, Italian politician and Mafia expert Laura Garavini said Germany was one of the “top countries” for Italian gangsters.

Garavani said that Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia are especially popular among the Calabria-based ‘Ndrangheta gang, responsible for seven Mafia murders in Duisburg in 2007, along with the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Naples-based Camorra and the Sacra Corona Unita.

He added that the gangs’ operations focus mainly on the drug trade and money laundering, and Italian crime gangs use increasingly inventive methods such as investing money in wind energy.

Bavarian authorities estimate there are around 65 active Mafia gang members in the state alone.

According to reports, there have been 25 prosecution cases against Italian organized crime syndicates operating in Germany since 2007. Fifteen cases have proven links to the Mafia.


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