Italian Prosecutors Unearth Mafia Web in Toronto
Italy’s anti-mafia prosecutors, while investigating an international crime syndicate, have stumbled upon what they allege as Toronto’s modern mafia evolution. They claim the existence of seven predominant mob clans operating within Toronto. Each of these factions is reportedly led by a powerful figure who holds significant sway in a governing council.
Canadian Mafia’s Alleged Ascent in Global Drug Trafficking
According to Italian authorities, these Canadian crime families have strategically positioned themselves at the pinnacle of the world’s illicit drug market. Their alleged strategy involves establishing a consistent supply chain for cocaine originating from Argentina.
Adding to this, around 40 individuals, many of whom have ties to Italy, are believed to be affiliated with this “Canadian branch” of the vast crime empire. Their alleged involvement spans various criminal activities, from money laundering and corruption to more violent crimes such as murder.
Toronto’s Crime Families and Their Alleged Roots
The investigative report suggests the majority of these crime family members hail from Calabria, a region in Italy. It states, “In Toronto, seven crime families, predominantly of Calabrian origin, were active in several illegal ventures.” This includes drug trafficking, gambling, extortion within the Italian community, and counterfeit production. Furthermore, these illicit gains, according to the prosecutors, have been reinvested into various businesses, notably in Toronto’s Woodbridge area, known as the emerging Italian district.
These families are suspected to be senior members of the ‘Ndrangheta, a mafia organization rooted in Calabria, often compared to Sicily’s renowned Cosa Nostra. The report even interestingly mentions that when an ‘Ndrangheta member speaks of “America,” he is often referring to Canada.
The primary suspected leaders of these Toronto-based ‘Ndrangheta families include Vincenzo Tavernese, Cosimo Figliomeni, Antonio Coluccio, Cosimo Commisso, Angelino Figliomeni, Vincenzo “Jimmy” DeMaria, and Domenic Ruso. However, out of these names, only Tavernese and Coluccio currently face legal charges.
Reactions and Refutations
Reacting to the claims, one of the named individuals, Mr. Commisso, robustly denied any illicit involvement. He emphasized his innocence by challenging the claims: “If there was evidence of criminal activity, why aren’t charges filed here in Canada?” He also stressed his commitment to facing any consequences if proven guilty and pointed to his past, where he served his sentence and successfully completed parole.
Several attempts to contact other alleged mafia figures for comments yielded no responses.
‘Ndrangheta: The Rise of a Powerful Crime Syndicate
The investigation further delves into the ‘Ndrangheta’s dominance over Sicily’s Cosa Nostra as the reigning mafia powerhouse in Italy. The organization’s vast connections in Canada came to light through extensive monitoring of communication channels between both countries.
The prosecutors’ exhaustive report emphasizes the ‘Ndrangheta’s significant presence in Canada, describing it as an “unbreakable umbilical cord” connecting the mafias in both nations. It further outlines how these connections transcend international boundaries, with at least 40 of the named individuals having strong ties to Canada.
The Canadian Connection
Various discussions recorded during the investigation reflect the alleged deep-rooted mafia ties in Canada. Some conversations even hint at the difficulties faced by these organizations as Canadian law enforcement tightens its grip.
This complex web of criminal organizations in Canada reportedly once fell under the influence of Montreal’s Vito Rizzuto. Until his 2004 arrest, Rizzuto was believed to wield unparalleled power in the mafia world, controlling both the ‘Ndrangheta in Toronto and the Cosa Nostra in Montreal.
As the Italian prosecutors continue their probe into the vast criminal networks spanning continents, the world awaits further revelations. Whether these allegations will stand the test of court remains to be seen.