Authorities in Italy are trying to crack down on the 'Ndrangheta, Italy's largest organized crime unit, based in Calabria. According to the Telegraph, the 'Ndrangheta is infiltrating Milan to an alarming degree, "flooding the streets with cocaine, muscling in on public works contracts, and investing some of the proceeds in the city's famous fashion business." Fashion and cocaine? They don't say. The group is thought to supply Europe with 80 percent of its cocaine supply. Up to 10 percent of Milan residents are cocaine users, while consumption of the drug has risen 40 percent in the last ten years. The Telegraph reports:
The cocaine habits of the fashion world, of course, go back considerably longer than that. But Mr Nobili told The Sunday Telegraph that more direct links between the fashion industry and the Calabrian mobsters were emerging.
"I'm not going to name names at the moments, but we're looking some people in the fashion world," he said, noting how some prominent fashion figures appeared to have been able to afford luxury new palazzi despite the recession.
"What they (the Calabria) do is make their money illegally, then invest it in legitimate business."
And we thought weed was the new cocaine. What were we thinking? Weed is the new acetaminophen.
Mafia looking to get a grip on Milan catwalks [Telegraph UK]