Kevin Eagan - Mar 17, 2024
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Lake Garda in northern Italy has long been a popular destination for foreign tourists. Despite the partial closure of the famous "James Bond Road" Strada della Forra along the coast of Lake Garda, this hasn't changed. Many paths lead to this idyllic location, but according to a report by ORF, the Austrian TV Channel, it may not be as idyllic as it seems. Instead, the region has become a stronghold of organized crime and mafia clans.

ORF reported this last week under "Mafia Prepares Itself on Lake Garda." Organized crime is increasingly active in the north of Italy. Over the past few years, the broadcaster has described an increase in seizures and arrests in the Lake Garda region, painting a grim picture of the situation in this once-renowned holiday paradise.

Experts have reported that mafia clans have infiltrated communities on the southern shore of Lake Garda - particularly the holiday resort of Sirmione. According to ORF, the mafia's economic interests have increased significantly since the COVID-19 outbreak. Organized crime is widespread in the area, confirms journalist Valerio Morabito of Corriere della Serra, who has researched the topic for over 15 years. The four significant clans have settled in the area and launder their money by buying real estate, nightclubs, and gambling halls and interfering in tourist structures. The mafia organization 'Ndrangheta recently purchased a camping facility in Sirmione, which has since been exposed.

The authority has seized 286 properties, including apartments, land, and businesses. According to Morabito, this indicates the presence of organized crime. However, the mafia clans have evolved and now operate more discreetly in the background.

Meanwhile, Paola Pollini, the president of the Anti-Mafia Commission of the Lombardy Region, wants to monitor the mafia's activities at all levels. She believes criminal organizations are constantly changing and adapting to new technologies like cryptocurrency. Pollini emphasizes that many illegal activities are now organized digitally.

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