Question and Answer on Organized Crime (Italian Mafia Groups) Number

Questionand Answer on Organized Crime (Italian Mafia Groups)


Organizedcrime has over time been regarded as the epitome of criminal actionsglobally. Different organized criminal groups have existed with some.Among the five most recognized one, there is the Ndranheta mafia.However, different factors fueled the formation of the mafiaorganizations. QuestionAnalyseFactors That Led To the Rapid Growth and Expansion of the NewerItalian Mafia Organization Calabrian `Ndrangheta’

TheItalian organized crime groups present a threat not only to Italy andthe world as a whole. The Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia has had rapidgrowth and expansion in recent years, despite the stiff competition,it experiences from other organized crime groups such as the SicilianMafia. The police have tried to contain them to no avail. The groupis currently a major threat to the European Union (Day, 2012).Various factors led to this rapid growth. This essay discusses thesefactors that have acted in favour of the group leading to itsexpansion.

TheNdrangheta is one of the most powerful and richest organized crimegroups worldwide. This was not the case from the start where the CosaNostra dominated Italy. However, the Ndrangheta has continuallyexpanded due to some favourable factors. First, the group’sdominance of the cocaine market in Europe came as a result of itsexcellent relations with producers. The evolution of the drug marketfrom heroin use to cocaine, which was Ndrangheta’squasi-monopolistic business created more revenue for the group.Heroin was Cosa Nostra’s primary drug market, forcing Ndrangheta totrade in cocaine. However, the heroin market downsized and its usersturned to cocaine as the alternative. ‘Ndrangheta’ exploited itslinks with producers to dominate the drug market (`EUOrganised Crime Threat Assessment 2006`, 2007).

Theperfect operational structure ensures a good management and flow ofauthority. The respect for clans and the supreme authority of theCalabrian Crimine has reduced in-fighting between the group’smembers. The infiltration of the political and economic areas by thegroup’s leaders has led to the group acquiring favours from thepolitical class. Corruption orchestrated by such group ‘moles’ inpower increased, its funds leading to the rapid growth and expansion.Diversion of public funds through tenders awarded to the group alsoensured better returns leading to expansion (Day, 2012).

Thedirect attacks of the Cosa Nostra in the 1980’s by the Italianauthorities also acted in favour of the Ndrangheta promoting itsgrowth. State law enforcement authorities concentrated on Cosa Nostraleaving the Ndrangheta to continue with their activities (Day, 2012).The pressure on the Cosa Nostra led the group to downscale theiroperations, leaving some markets for the Ndrangheta. These marketsyielded enormous profits for the group financing its infiltration tothe cities from the villages.

Finally,the immigrant communities of Calabrian provided fresh recruits forthe group. As a result, the number of group members grew rapidly.Recruits as young as 16 years could join the group provided they hadno connection with the law enforcement personnel. This quiet andextensive recruitment promoted group expansion and growth. Thesecrecy of the Calabrian mafia also made it hard for law enforcementagencies to stop its activities (`EUOrganised Crime Threat Assessment 2006`, 2007).

Inconclusion, the rapid expansion of the group has posed a grave dangerto the European Union and the world at large. The solidarity,versatility and adaptability of the group has ensured its consistentgrowth. Management and leadership of the group have also led thegroup to greater markets by shrewd planning and caution. Therefore,to prevent further growth of the mafia, the law enforcementauthorities should change their tactics and approach to dealing withorganized crime.


Day,M. (2012). `Unstoppable`spread of Calabria`s `Ndrangheta mafia sees outposts established inUK and Ireland.TheIndependent.Retrieved 11 August 2015, from

EUOrganized Crime Threat Assessment 2006. (2007). TrendsIn Organized Crime,10(3),100-119