Embattled New York Governor Andy Cuomo, under investigation by federal prosecutors for shutting down a state commission into political corruption, attended a birthday bash last night for the so-called Reverend Al Sharpton at the swanky Four Seasons in midtown Manhattan as reported by the Daily News.
A 1983 undercover FBI surveillance video seemingly shows Sharpton claiming to know a potential purchaser for multiple kilos of pure cocaine, and he long has faced allegations that he once was a mob associate.
At last night's birthday bash Cuomo praised the race-hustling Sharpton for his "sense of outrage at injustice," and proclaimed that "he's no longer New York City's Sharpton, he's the nation's Sharpton."
God save us all.
Colombo-mobster-turned-Christian-evangelical Michael Franzese claims he knew Al Sharpton back in the day, and the reformed mobster alleges the good reverend is not coming clean with his mob past as reported by Jerry Capeci for Gang Land News: "He was a gun for hire, our gun for hire," recalled Franzese, and "he built his reputation on defending the civil rights of blacks, but he would exploit them for money."
Intelligence officials from Italy's now-defunct spy agency Sisde apparently paid highly-ranked members from Cosa Nostra or the Sicilian Mafia "for information during several of the years when Silvio Berlusconi was premier" as reported by Frances D'Emilio for The Associated Press. Claudio Fava, vice president of Parliament's anti-Mafia commission and the son of a journalist slain by the Mafia in 1984, "said he suspects the information might have been used to derail investigations into whether politicians had links with the Mafia."
The Aussies are second only to degenerate Americans in their per capita drug consumption, and now Australian police are warning that the Mexican cartels are supplying product as reported by the Herald Sun: "Sinaloa members are expanding their Australian networks, having arrived in recent years, and that members of other rival Mexican cartels have also moved in here."
You don't say?!
Actually, Italy's 'Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia has teamed up with the Mexican cartels in Australia as reported by Mark Schlieb for The Australian: "The head of the UN's Office of Drugs and Crime in Mexico City, Antonio Mazzitelli, believes Mexican drug cartels have struck deals with Australian members of the powerful Italian mafia group, the 'Ndrangheta, to capitalize on the country's hugely profitable cocaine trade."
In 2012 Italy requested the extradition of three men from Australia following convictions in absentia for their alleged roles in a plot to smuggle cocaine into Oz for the Calabrian Mafia as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald. Of course, the Aussies live in denial, and balked at the request. Italian prosecutor Maria Vittoria De Simone warns Australian officials that they ignore the 'Ndrangheta at their peril:
"We urge the Australian authorities to remember that 'Ndrangheta … represents an enormous risk for countries far from Italy. The 'Ndrangheta … runs the international cocaine market. It doesn't do its business in Calabria but around the world. It has infiltrated all economic sectors and it controls voting and political candidates at a national and international level. I urge the Australians not to underestimate this organisation. Otherwise it will be too late.''
Until Australia is willing to deal with its Mafia problem the Mexican cartels are there to stay.
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.
The Charbonneau Commission is investigating allegations that the Montreal Mafia and dirty politicians took kickbacks from government contracts to construction companies in a massive bid rigging scheme, and today developer Tony Accurso denied any ties to the Rizzuto crime family as reported by the National Post: "while the Rizzutos did try to initiate business deals with his various companies, the witness said, he and his partners always found 'diplomatic' ways to refuse." And he further testified that he never paid any street tax to the Rizzuto boys. Or respected their proclaimed territories. Or comped their meals when they ate at his restaurant. And Tony Accurso emphasized that "just because you have an Italian name doesn't mean you're in the Mafia."
Tony Accurso testified before the Charbonneau Commission which is investigating allegations that the Montreal Mafia and dirty politicians took cuts from government contracts to construction companies in a massive bid rigging scheme, and said that he "crossed paths" with recently-deceased mobsters Vito Rizzuto and son Nick Rizzuto Jr. whose telephone numbers were saved on his iPhone as reported by Monique Muse for The Gazette: "the witness replied that the men were 'minor contacts' in his vast network of friends, business partners and acquaintances" but previous witnesses have alleged "that Vito Rizzuto acted as a kind of mediator for the construction magnate when he found himself at odds with other entrepreneurs."