As you know, Protection4kids fights against international trafficking in human beings and child pornography. These are activities that are often carried out both by perverse privates and petty, “street” criminals, both from large well-structured criminal organizations.

Today, therefore, I intend to distance myself for a moment from the dear to us topic of trafficking, which characterizes our charitable activity, to try to provide information on what we could, often and unfortunately, define the subjects of this crime: COVID- 19, known as coronavirus, will benefit criminal organizations or will have it same effect that it has towards any other type of business activity (even if that of which it is illegal)?

Believing that quarantine acts as a drain on the purchase of drugs is a mere illusion essentially for 2 reasons: firstly because the strategies that a pusher are infinite can use to still sell drugs; secondly because, as you already know, this is just one of the rumors that distinguish the profit of criminal organizations.

It is precisely on the basis of these illicit and alternative “income items” that for the criminal organizations, this of the coronavirus, has become the most appetizing asset since the cholera.

As many know, the mafia activity also pervades the Italian business fabric characterized by many SMEs which, due to the pandemic, are going through a period of hard crisis.

The magistrates Antonino Di Matteo and Roberto Tartaglia, as well as well known journalistic newspapers between which “Il Fatto Quotidiano” and “Il Sole24Ore” have launched a new tied alarm to the coronavirus emergency. The post-pandemic era will be a very fertile ground for growth in organized crime, especially in the South.

Tartaglia made an enlightened comparison with the effects of the Renaissance Law Neapolitan of 1865 which, after the serious cholera epidemic, was to serve one rapid economic recovery of the city and, instead, indirectly allowed an easy one coupling to the Camorra which began to drain the wealth, given into the hands of the public administrations.

In this case, in addition to the PA, the victims will mainly be small companies a family run which will not have the available liquidity to recover from the crisis; and, where there is no liquidity, there is the mafia, ready to launder the small businessman in difficulty with money deriving from its illicit activities. 

Il Sole24Ore, in a recent article by Marco Ludovico, even speaks of the “economic vocation” of the mafia. However, this is not surprising !, that the mafia finances illicitly and coercively small-medium enterprises to launder money is already known to most people, the problem is that coronavirus, with its economic consequences, has given criminal organizations the right push to intensify what we might call their “economic modus operandi”.

The usurious interest rates, which would accrue criminal organizations by illegally financing loss-making businesses, do not represent the only risk linked to mafia infiltrations. Di Matteo talks about a possible “mass purchase” of small and medium enterprises in difficulty. Unfortunately, the profile of the possibility becomes concrete when the well-known magistrate continues by stating that the intention of “blanket acquisitions” is certain, and this results from the Italian intelligence investigations.

Not only. “Even public funding has always been the greatest profit opportunity for the Italian mafia” as suggested by Roberto Tartaglia, consultant of the Parliamentary Antimafia Commission. Criminal organizations on the peninsula, above all thanks to their numerous ties to national and local politics, are very skilled at diverting public funding to their coffers – this often happens through rigged contracts obtained through blackmail and corruption.

The solutions, in this case, are three: firstly map the “red areas”, ie those with the highest density of economic and financial contagion, secondly intensify the supervisory controls and, finally, structure an operating system such as to make the rules on controls are effective.

We at Protection4Kids have heard the appeal loud and clear, and in our own small way we wanted to contribute through this article and a series of informative posts. The more citizens try to understand and know the mafia phenomenon, the more non-profit organizations and institutions increase and intensify the moral fiber of operators and citizens, the more it will be possible (slowly) to make progress in the fight against the organized crime.