Italian organised crime is known all over the world, to the point that the term ‘Mafia’ is now understood across the globe as referring to the organised criminal underworld. Literature on the subject is abundant, ranging from history, sociology and criminology to fiction and plain entertainment. The distinctive character, looks, habits, idiosyncrasies and jargon of the Mafiosi have been described, analysed, explained and imitated. Apparently, everybody is familiar with Italian organised crime.
Nevertheless, a document analysing the overall scope of Italian organised crime at an international level from the law enforcement (LE) perspective, and the threat it poses in the EU and beyond, does not exist. This document is intended to fill that important information gap.
This is a public report intended for a wide audience, based on a more detailed strategic assessment prepared for law enforcement purposes.
The extreme difficulty in collecting information of the required quality confirmed the particular nature of Italian OC, which tends to operate ‘under the radar’ whenever it acts outside its territory.