Rome police film secret initiation ritual

2014-11-18 23:04

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Rome - Italian authorities said on Tuesday that they managed for the first time to film an initiation rite into the higher echelons of the Ndrangheta, one of the world's biggest organised crime organisations.

The discovery was made public after police announced that they had arrested 37 suspected Ndrangheta members and placed another three under house arrest at the end of a two-year investigation led by anti-Mafia prosecutors in Milan.

"For the first time we documented live the oaths and the awarding of positions," prosecutor Ilda Boccassini said during a media conference.

Police also found a notebook with an instruction manual for the rites, she added.

In the video released to Italian media, a man is promoted to the Santa, a Ndrangheta secret society that is modelled after the Freemasonry.

Extortion rackets

He is told to renege his family's previous criminal allegiances "up to the seventh generation" and defend the "honour" of his new-found "wise brothers."

The rite has previously been known to authorities only through the accounts of Mafia deserters.

The suspected mobsters involved in Tuesday's police sting, operating in wealthy industrial provinces near Milan, were accused of running a debt collection service for local entrepreneurs, as well as extortion rackets.

Originally hailing from Calabria, the region that forms the tip of Italy's boot, the Ndrangheta has long been known to have spread to the north of the country, as well as further beyond to Germany, Spain, South America and the United States.

Police chief Antonio Manganelli in 2012 described the Ndrangheta as "the strongest" drug trafficking organisation in the world.

Read more on:    mafia  |  italy  |  crime

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