ROME (dpa) – Police in Italy say they have cracked the secret initiation code of the San Luca crime family, one of the bloodiest syndicates of the ‘Ndrangheta Mafia. It follows the discovery by officers of a notebook during a large-scale operation in Rome that led to several arrests and the confiscation of 600 kilogrammes of cocaine and hashish.
The notebook’s contents were deciphered, thus revealing “the archaic procedural mechanisms regulating the ‘initiation rite’ to the ‘Ndrangheta,” police said in a statement Tuesday as they hailed the “extraordinary discovery.”
Originating from Calabria, the region that forms the tip of Italy’s boot, the ‘Ndrangheta is one of world’s most powerful and secretive crime groups. It has made substantial inroads in northern Europe, Latin America and the United States.
In 2012, former police chief Antonio Manganelli described the Calabrian mob as “the strongest” global drug trafficker. In November, Italian authorities said they had gained another major insight into its inner workings, as they published footage of a Ndrangheta member being secretly filmed while taking an elaborate oath in front of senior members of the organisation.