A reputed boss known as "Blondie" from Italy's drug-trafficking 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia allegedly helped finance the election campaign of Labor politician Michael Teti for a spot on the City Council of Moreland which is part of the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as reported by Gay Alcorn for The Guardian.
It's not just the Labor Party with Mafia headaches in Melbourne.
Last May a suspected boss from the Calabrian Mafia was accused of backing some Liberal politicians although news outlets are prohibited from naming him due to a court order as reported by The Age: "despite being the subject of numerous organised crime probes, the alleged mob boss has never been charged with a criminal offence and denies any involvement in organised crime or political bribery."
Australian authorities became aware of the 'Ndrangheta's presence in the early 1960s during a turf war among rival clans, and notwithstanding repeated investigations over the next fifty years little has been done to bring down the crime group.
Of course, a little corruption apparently goes a long way in Australia. A 1991 report by the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence states that Mafia members or their relatives "have achieved a high degree of influence with, and even infiltrated, federal and state government departments, the judiciary and various law enforcement bodies."
Remember, organized crime cannot exist without public corruption.
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: