For the first time ever, Italian mafia initiation rites have been caught on a secret camera. A two year investigation into the notoriously hard to penetrate crime group ‘Ndrangheta, a network of hundreds of family gangs more feared than the infamous Sicilian mafia, resulted in the video of the swearing in of a member to the elite rank of “Santa.” Italian police took forty suspected mobsters into custody following raids across the northern Italian countryside. They were charged with extortion, illegal arms sales and criminal association.
The intense investigation had police wire tapping and video surveilling locations known to be frequented by the mobsters. In the past, all evidence collected was from informants and witnesses. Police have before been privy to the secret rites adopted by these old mafia families. Ironically, in an earlier wire tap, a mob boss was recorded warning other members that mobile phones were akin to having a policeman in their pockets — ostensibly because of their abilities to tap and track the devices. He cautioned mafia members that wiretaps and certain law enforcement personnel were decided threats to their way of life.
The suspected mobsters arrested in Tuesday’s raids were primarily associated with southern mobs, closer to Calabira, one of the southernmost cities on mainland Italy. Police cited this as evidence that these fearsome mobs are invading the richer northern areas. The BBC says the initiation rites captured on film were quasi-religious in nature. The Mafia has a reputation for being quite religious, despite their predilection for violence. As reported by the Inquisitr, the pope has already excommunicated the Mafia. In the video, an unnamed boss extols the virtues of the ‘Ndrangheta’s code, telling the men in essence that they must commit suicide if they ever break faith.
“From now on it will not be other men who judge you, you will judge yourselves… Either you poison yourselves or you take this (gun) which shoots. There must always be a bullet reserved; one for you.”
The ‘Ndrangheta faction of the Mafia is a fearsome lot. They are involved in the usual evils of the mob, such as prostitution and drug trafficking. They add on extortion and the selling of illegal weapons and fake goods. It’s been estimated that the group’s illicit activities brought in $73 billion last year.
Ilda Boccassini is primarily responsible for the apprehension of the alleged mobsters and the driving force behind the investigations that ultimately captured the rites. She has long been known as a passionate anti-Mafia prosecutor. In 2010 she orchestrated a countrywide operation that resulted in 300 arrests of mobsters from the same fearsome mob family. These newly arrested mobsters will undergo a fast-track trial procedure that skips preliminary hearings as the evidence gathered on the family leading up to and including the initiation rites is so strong.