The Washington Post

Mafia group earns more than Deutsche Bank plus McDonald’s

Italian anti-Mafia prosecutor Franco Roberti, US prosecutor William Nardini, and DDA Director of Central Operations Service Raffaele Grassi give a press conference on an anti-Mafia operation with numerous arrests reported on both sides of the Atlantic, in Rome’s National Anti-Mafia headquarters, on February 11, 2014. The so-called “New Bridge” joined operation targeted a new cocaine trafficking route from South America to the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro linking the US sicilian Mafia with the Calabrian N’drangheta crimiminal organization. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

In Italy, a study finds crime still pays well.

If you add up the revenue for McDonald’s and Deutsche Bank last year, the ‘Ndrangheta mafia operation from Calabria still rakes in more. The southern Italian mafia group took in about $73 billion in 2013, according to Europe’s The Local, which is still more than the $72 billion combined revenue of the other two.

A study by the Institute Demoskopika looked into the revenue of the ‘Ndrangheta group and estimated the money made was equal to 3.5 percent of Italy’s 2013 GDP. They analyzed documents from Italy’s interior ministry, police, the parliament’s anti-mafia commission and a national anti-mafia task force.

The biggest chunk — $33.3 billion — is earned from drug trafficking. Their garbage disposal business comes in second with $26.9 billion. The international crime syndicate, whose name comes from Greek for courage or loyalty, is believed to have around 400 key operatives in 30 countries — such as Australia, Colombia, Germany and Canada — and involve as many as 60,000 people globally. They also still take in money from more historically “traditional” mafia operations such as loan sharking, extortion and gambling.

Last week, Pope Francis called on Italy’s mafia groups to “stop doing evil” when he held a prayer vigil with mafia victims and their relatives. According to the BBC, he said “Blood-stained money, blood-stained power, you can’t bring it with you to your next life. Repent.”

Pam Tobey is the graphics editor of the Morning Mix Web team at The Washington Post and a member of the Presentation Desk’s Information Design graphics team.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.
Next Story
Soraya Nadia McDonald · March 28, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.