Europol and Italy’s anti-mafia agency held a joint press conference, during which they reiterated that mafia still poses the increasing threat to the European Union. Currently organised crime constitutes the highest risk for EU internal security, The Local Italy reported.
Italian mafia grows, spreading its influence up and down the continent, said Jari Liukku, head of Europol’s European Serious and Organised Crime Centre. Talking to the journalist during the press conference, Europol boss warned that well-organized criminal groups from Albania and Eastern Europe are a bigger security threat than terrorism or migration.
In recent years, the “outlaw” motorcycle gangs were the biggest criminal players, while Asian, African and South American groups were also muscling in on Europe’s €110-billion-a-year organised crime business. The most dangerous thing is they are cooperating each other, becoming the darkest nightmare for Europol and police across the EU.
The organised crime constitutes the highest risk for EU internal security, even more than terrorism, added officials. After 2015 migration crisis, Europe police faced another challenge, the crime wave became bigger and now it now had to be tackled by cross-border cooperation. “To prevent organised crime we have to act internationally because the organised crime groups are already doing it,” added Mr Liukku.
Italy’s police: mafia is spreading at the fastest ever pace
Italy’s Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate (AMID) has published the fresh report on mafia problem, the document reads that Sicilian Cosa Nostra, Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta and Neapolitan Camorra are still the biggest and strongest criminal structures. Giuseppe Governale, head of Italy’s AMID, warns that the problem was more widespread since 2015. “This is a European problem,” he concluded.
Mass money-laundering becomes the top priority problem, it has a great impact on society, whole sectors are destabilised and it can jeopardise the national economy and security, say the experts. One hallmark of the newly organised crime groups was an increasing level of violence, officials added.
Other European countries agreed that international cooperation is the cornerstone of the successful fight against the mafia and organized crime, In particular, Sweden had seen an unprecedented surge of violence akin to a “low-intensity form of warfare,” senior Swedish police official Jale Poljarevius said. Fatal shootings had risen significantly, from around 15 a year in 2011 to over 40 in 2018. In 2019, police have already registered 12 gun deaths in 67 shootouts: Sweden has never before seen these kinds of numbers.