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15th Dec 2019

Italian mob has €200bn annual budget

  • Rome: organised crime in Italy is said to have a €200bn annual budget. (Photo: Giampaolo Macorig)

The annual budget of organised crime in Italy is bigger than that of the EU, with most of the money spent outside Italy, the country's foreign ministry says.

“Organised crime has an annual budget of more than €200 billion,” said Giovanni Brauzzi, security policy director at the Italian ministry of foreign affairs, on Tuesday (25 March).

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“They invest only 10 percent of this budget in Italy, the rest they invest in countries in Europe and elsewhere. They have good friends everywhere,” he added.

The EU's annual budget for 2014 in comparison is around €140 billion.

There are conflicting estimates on the scale of Italian organised crime.

A study out last year by the Italian-based Transcrime joint research centre said Italy's mobs take in just €10.5 billion per year.

Another study, released in 2012 by Confesercenti, a employers' association, put the annual turnover figure at €140 billon.

Brauzzi, who was speaking at the Second Annual European Cyber Security Conference in Brussels, said the mob also works with the Italian legal system to crack down on minor cyber threats on the internet in a mutually beneficial relationship.

“They produce evidence for the legal system in order find these groups, in order to stop those activities and to keep going ‘as business as usual’ in order then to have their own activities protected,” he said.

Top lawyers and managers are on their payroll, he said.

He noted that over the past few years, Italy's organised crime syndicates have shifted their "investments" outside Italy.

Brauzzi said Italy's organised crime is deeply embedded in “the most important companies working in financial transactions.”

“Corruption is the easiest way of doing busy in their framework,” he noted.

A European Commission anti-corruption report published in February found that almost half the businesses in Italy see corruption as a “very serious or quite serious problem.”

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