CATF Reports Apr. 19, 2016, 3:52pm


Italy's top prosecutor and anti-mafia chief Franco Roberti posited that ISIS and the Italian mafia are cooperating to smuggle hashish into Europe. Evidence of the relatively recent joint efforts is being collected in an ongoing investigation launched in February 2015 that was triggered by the striking similarities in the two criminal organizations’ modus operandi.

Roberti argued that the decriminalization of cannabis or a change in legislation regulating cannabis production and sale would significantly hurt both ISIS and mafia profits. The Italian mafia controls most of Italy’s illegal drug supplies and generates annual profits of $36 billion. A report released by IHS estimates that 7 percent of ISIS funding comes from the narcotics trade, and Sirte, ISIS stronghold in the Mediterranean outside Syria and Iraq, lies on the territory of the main smuggling route for North African hash, running from Casablanca to Tobruk through Tunisia and Algeria.

 

From Reuters:

“In investigations whose details have not yet been made public, police have found evidence that Italian organised crime, which has long controlled most of the country's illegal drug supplies, and "suspected terrorists" in North Africa are trafficking hash together, Roberti said. 

[…]

One reason it makes sense for his office to coordinate anti-terror investigations is that Islamist militants and traditional mafias - like Sicily's Cosa Nostra - commit similar crimes, Roberti said.

"International terrorism finances itself with criminal activities that are typical of the mafia, like drug trafficking, smuggling commercial goods, smuggling oil, smuggling archaeological relics and art, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion," he said.

Facing the huge challenges of fighting people smuggling, cocaine trafficking, and international terrorism, investigators are spending too much time and energy to combat cannabis dealers, and to little effect, said Roberti.

"We spend a lot of resources uselessly. We have not succeeded in reducing cannabinoid trafficking. On the contrary, it's increasing," said Roberti, who has been combating the mafia for more than three decades.”

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