Germany long has been a safe haven for the 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia from Italy but that's about to change as the federal criminal police (BKA) prepare to target their assets as reported by Deutsche Welle: "'we must strike criminals at their core,' says Holger Münch, the future head of the BKA," and "that core would be [their] money."
Currently German prosecutors "must prove that money they want to confiscate actually stems from a crime" but draft legislation proposes reversing the burden -- as it's done in Italy -- to make the suspects "prove that their money is from legal transactions."
Harold Schneider, the former head of the Bavarian police union, says "from the perspective of colleagues (in the police) Germany is a promised land for the Mafia," and "Europe-wide rules were needed to ensure police are able to cooperate across borders" as reported by Press TV.
The drug trafficking crime group launders much of its dirty money in the German economy where it invests "millions of euros in hotel chains and restaurants (they own 300 pizzerias)" according to Petra Reski in her new book The Honoured Society as reported by P.D. Smith for The Guardian.
Last November several companies across Germany were raided "as part of an international investigation into a suspected money-laundering scheme by the Calabrian mafia" as reported by Reuters, and Italian Anti-Mafia activist Roberto Saviano said "the German economy . . . [is] deeply infiltrated by the mafia" as reported by euronews.
The 'Ndrangheta brings a ton of cocaine into Germany every few days as reported by Andreas Ulrich for Der Spiegel:
According to an internal BKA [Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office] report, Germany is a key hub in the European cocaine trade as a "transit and organization country. * * * The BKA report states that the Calabrian mafia has developed "deep-seated structures" in Germany, complete with "leaders from individual clans, as well as killers." According to Jane's Intelligence Review, a British magazine for decision-makers in the military and intelligence world, Germany is probably the most important base for the 'Ndrangheta in Europe.
In March 2010 German police arrested 11 people for allegedly trafficking cocaine on behalf of the Calabrian Mafia as then reported by The Associated Press:
Investigators believe the group regularly sent couriers from Italy to Germany with several kilograms of cocaine which were delivered to customers in the Munich area. Bavarian police say they are investigating 18 people, most of them Italian, while police in Brescia, Italy, are conducting a parallel probe against the main suspects.
Of course, the mob invasion has not been without the attendant bloodshed. In August 2007 six mobsters from the Pelle-Votari clan were gunned down by the rival Nirta-Strangio clan outside a pizzeria in Duisburg, Germany. At the time of the Duisburg massacre Giorgio Basile, a 'Ndrangheta deserter, told the Italian media: "The Germans must realise that where there is pizza, there's the Mafia."
In recent years the 'Ndrangheta has eclipsed Cosa Nostra or the Sicilian Mafia as Italy's most powerful crime group due to its obscene profits from the cocaine trade in Europe, and further has become entrenched in Australia, Canada and the United States.
Mob watchers in Canada suspect that the Calabrians have backed a breakaway group from the Rizzuto clan of the Sicilian Mafia for control over the drug rackets in Montreal and New York, and the turf war has resulted in dozens of murders over the last few years.
Earlier this year Italian and American police arrested dozens of suspected mobsters on both sides of the Atlantic for their alleged roles in a joint drug smuggling plot between the Gambino family and the Calabrian Mafia.
Further reading that may be of interest: