Threat Assessment on Italian Organised Crime:
- extracts from the exchange of views with Europol representatives
EP Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - EP
End production: 10/07/2013 First transmission: 10/07/2013
Members of the CRIM Special Committee learned about the recent Europol Report on "Threat Assessment on Italian Organised Crime" in the presence of Europol representatives. The report published a week ago analyses the overall scope of Italian organised crime at an international level and the threat it poses in the EU and beyond. According to the report, mafia-type Italian organised crime is still a present threat to the European Union. Italian Mafias reinforce their power through control and exploitation of the territory and of the community.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Parliament building in Brussels
||Arrival of the Europol representatives to the meeting
||SOUNDBITE (English) Michael RAUSCHENBACH, head of Europol's forgery-of-money unit: "What has been founded in these series of organised crime and set assessment, Europol has identified and estimated an amount of 3.600 organised crime groups being active in the European Union. We see a strong change on the behaviour and set up of those groups. They are more globally active, they are more flexible, adaptable, they are exploiting legal loopholes, they are also getting involved in new criminal markets where they see high income and low risk, and they are poly-criminals so they commit several forms of crimes and if they need experts, then they buy them in. They cooperate with each other on the global level, so we have co-operational organised crime groups, and this also applies for the Italian organised crime groups."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Michael RAUSCHENBACH, head of Europol's forgery-of-money unit: "They are very inventive and exploiting all facilitating factors that they can see in order to commit their crimes. One of them is the impact of the economic crisis in the European Union and we see a clear link between this economic crime, the economic crisis and organised crime. There is an impact of organised crime on the economic recovery and economic growth, as for instance intimidation and corruption can lead to market distortion. The reinvestment of illegal proceeds which is also typical for Italian style organised crime, of course they put it out of the rule of the ordinary competition. But also crimes like commodities, counterfeiting, damage to the consumer confidence and deny profits to the legitimate business, also in the trafficking of human beings."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Michael RAUSCHENBACH, head of Europol's forgery-of-money unit: "Every member state should establish a centralised bank account register and further encourage national assets recovery office to exchange information with Europol by our security information exchange system."
||SOUNDBITE (English) David ELLERO, senior specialist in Italian organised crime at Europol: "What are the conclusions of the rapport? The first conclusion is actually that there is a lot of underreporting on these groups. As I said, there is very uneven level of awareness on these groups at the European level. Italy, of course, because of our tradition, and because of the terrible moments that we had in our history, has a very in-depth knowledge on how these groups operate. But unfortunately, when moving outside Italy, there is a very low level of awareness, and a general underreporting on these groups."
||SOUNDBITE (English) David ELLERO, senior specialist in Italian organised crime at Europol: "Criminal assets is the biggest, the most important part, it has been proved many times that you can arrest these people, you can put them behind bars, and it is just part of their job, if we can say it this way. But when the criminal assets are taken away from them, that is what really hurts the criminal syndicates."
||SOUNDBITE (English) David ELLERO, senior specialist in Italian organised crime at Europol: "We are talking about legitimate business structures, that are actually the biggest problem at the moment and indeed you may have hundreds of people working for restaurants, pizzerias, that are completely unaware that maybe behind the pizzeria there is a money-laundering scheme. This is linked with one of the recommendations I made into the rapport which is information sharing, because very often there is absolutely, complete, zero knowledge on some of these groups, there is no information sharing, this is what we have founded."
||Cutaways (4 shots)