Lombardy infiltrated by Ndrangheta says Milan prosecutor

Judicial system needs urgent reform in fight against organised crime.

Milan and Lombardy are suffering a sort of “upside-down” colonisation by the southern Italian underworld, says outgoing Milan chief prosecutor Edmondo Bruti Liberati.

While colonisation normally implies invasion by a financially and culturally superior force, he explained, here we are seeing exactly the opposite: a criminal subculture winning in a highly industrialised area rich in public services.

Presenting his annual report as head of the Milan prosecutor team before retiring on 16 November, Bruti Liberati repeated warnings that the Calabria-based crime syndicate ‘Ndrangheta has infiltrated the region.

Investigations up to now have confirmed the constant connections between gangs in Lombardy and those in Calabria,” he stated.

He referred indirectly to reports in the media suggesting that a moratorium had been secretly declared on criminal investigations during Expo Milan 2015, in order not to disturb the exposition. Bruti Liberati insisted that the investigations had never stopped, and his staff had even worked through the holidays without pause. Thanks to their fast work, he stated, arrests had been made and corrupt managers had been replaced.

But he added that the administration of justice in the Milan area is at risk of paralysis unless urgent reforms are made. The sense of duty and self-denial of his staff, despite the extra work caused by Expo, risks being in vain. The office needs more personnel and the justice system must be simplified, especially as regards the statute of limitations, said Bruti Liberati.