Sicily Mafia – Ristorante I Crociferi http://ristoranteicrociferi.com/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 12:37:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png Sicily Mafia – Ristorante I Crociferi http://ristoranteicrociferi.com/ 32 32 Sicily: Mafia members who use children for drug trafficking arrested | News | DW https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/sicily-mafia-members-who-use-children-for-drug-trafficking-arrested-news-dw/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/sicily-mafia-members-who-use-children-for-drug-trafficking-arrested-news-dw/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 19:18:41 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/sicily-mafia-members-who-use-children-for-drug-trafficking-arrested-news-dw/ Italian police on Monday arrested 20 mafia members in the Sicilian city of Catania, the gang members allegedly used children for drug trafficking operations. What do we know so far? The arrests were carried out by members of the police force of the carabinieri. Criminals have allegedly forced children as young as 10 years old […]]]>

Italian police on Monday arrested 20 mafia members in the Sicilian city of Catania, the gang members allegedly used children for drug trafficking operations.

What do we know so far?

The arrests were carried out by members of the police force of the carabinieri.

Criminals have allegedly forced children as young as 10 years old to take money from drug buyers, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

Several prominent members of Sicily’s Cosa Nostra were among those arrested in the operation. Several women linked to the mafia were also arrested by the authorities.

CCTV showed large amounts of drugs such as crack and marijuana moving through the district of San Cocimo in Cantania, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported. Videos showed children taking money from drug buyers and showing where the illicit substances were hidden in the ground.

The San Cocimo district is a major base of operations for Maurizio Zuccaro, a Cosa Nostra leader.

What else did the officers find out?

The riflemen confiscated account books which recorded the quantity of drugs circulating in the region. The law enforcement operation also highlighted two counts of extortion involving a local pharmacy and a car dealership.

Catania is the birthplace of Benedetto Santapaola, a prominent Mafioso imprisoned since 1993.

In May, Italian police arrested 40 people linked to Cosa Nostra in Catania for suspected drug trafficking and extortion.

Cosa Nostra has been involved in criminal operations in Sicily since the 19th century.


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Italian court documents denounce Italy-Malta drug network https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/italian-court-documents-denounce-italy-malta-drug-network/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/italian-court-documents-denounce-italy-malta-drug-network/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 12:40:00 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/italian-court-documents-denounce-italy-malta-drug-network/ Drug traffickers have used secret compartments hidden in cars to smuggle cocaine into Malta via a local ferry company, according to Italian court documents. Italian finance police on Tuesday dismantled an international cocaine smuggling ring run by the criminal group ‘Ndrangheta after deciphering a secret code they were using to communicate on popular messaging platforms. […]]]>

Drug traffickers have used secret compartments hidden in cars to smuggle cocaine into Malta via a local ferry company, according to Italian court documents.

Italian finance police on Tuesday dismantled an international cocaine smuggling ring run by the criminal group ‘Ndrangheta after deciphering a secret code they were using to communicate on popular messaging platforms.

More than 400 officers carried out dawn raids across Italy, armed with 57 arrest warrants after a four-year dubbed “Crypto” investigation into more than 90 suspects, many of whom are from known Mafia families.

Those arrested are accused of smuggling large quantities of cocaine from northern Europe and Spain to Italy, hiding it in false bottoms of car trunks and other concealed compartments, and in some cases to then transfer it to Malta.

How drug traffickers transported cocaine to Malta

Sealed court documents submitted for the case, viewed by Malta Hours, details how a drug dealer was arrested shortly after taking a shipment of cocaine to Malta.

The drug, which would have been a ‘tester’ kilogram for a Maltese buyer interested in buying more, had a market value of over € 50,000.

According to the evidence file, Orazio Coco, one of the suspected drug mules, traveled to Malta via Virtu Ferries in a Fiat Punto hatchback on February 23, 2018.

Coco is accused of traveling to Malta to make contact with local drug buyers before returning to Sicily two days later.

In another case, a certain Ivan Meo, along with two other people using false identity documents, traveled from Pozzallo to Malta in a Peugeot 307.

A search of the car revealed traces of cocaine and tens of thousands of dollars in cash.

A thorough search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a secret compartment near the left rear wheel arch which could be accessed by removing a plastic cover which in turn is attached to a metal plate.

Inside the compartment, police found a “noose in the shape of a noose” on a rope which they said was used to secure packages of drugs for contraband.

It is very likely, according to the documents, that Meo had just transported drugs to Malta and was returning to Italy with the money received from the sale.

‘Team’ of drug traffickers working for ‘Ndrangheta

Meo is believed to be part of a “team” of drug traffickers from Catania who regularly transported drugs to Malta on behalf of the “Ndrangheta”.

After analyzing the passenger manifests, Italian investigators discovered that Meo and his associates made several trips to Malta on the catamaran for two or three day trips throughout 2017.

Brother I sent it five times to Malta, you know I’m out of Malta

After Meo’s arrest and detention in Catania, the entire Calabrian drug operation quickly changed its method of communication and reportedly began using encrypted phones.

However, before that, investigators had managed to crack a code that the drug network was using to communicate.

“They communicated via a complex code matching numbers to seemingly random letters of the alphabet, without any spaces or punctuation,” Captain Carmine Virno, whose team conducted the investigation, said during the presentation. of the case in Italy on Tuesday.

“The Ndrangheta crime families in Gioia Tauro and Rosarno in southern Italy have made direct contact with South American suppliers through an intermediary in the Dominican Republic.

How investigators cracked the drug network

Virno’s team worked painstakingly on a code that drug dealers used until they broke it when they figured out the word ‘con’, which means ‘with’ in English.

Officers who searched the home of a member of the upper circle discovered a pizzino with the alphabet written in blue and the corresponding numbers below in red.

A pizzas is a small piece of paper traditionally used by the Sicilian Mafia for high level secret communications.

This one, carefully cut out in a squared notebook, encoded large orders of cocaine.

Once the code was cracked, police resorted to old-fashioned surveillance techniques to gather evidence against the suspects, who were adept at evading modern technological traps, he said.

Some 3.7 million euros in assets were seized during searches.

What is’ Ndrangheta?

Based in Calabria, ‘Ndrangheta is considered one of the most powerful crime syndicates in the world due to its control over the cocaine movement in Europe.

It has extended its reach to all parts of the world and has long overtaken Sicily’s Cosa Nostra as Italy’s largest mafia organization.

The investigation showed that the ‘Ndrangheta families nevertheless believed that the Sicilian Mafia had its uses.

They linked up with the powerful Cappello family in Catania to organize cocaine shipments to Malta.

A dedication ceremony last year in Soverato, Calabria, of a monument dedicated to a policeman killed by a representative of the ‘Ndrangheta in 1991. The’ Ndrangheta is considered one of the most powerful crime syndicates to the world because of its control over the movement of cocaine in Europe. Photo: Shutterstock.com

In an exchange of text between members of the Cappello family, the shipment of drugs, Mexican cocaine, to Malta was discussed, court documents reveal.

“We have money and in two weeks the plane will arrive [from Mexico] with my things and we move ”, one reads in a text.

The exchange then details how the drug dealer made a nice profit by moving cocaine, via a runner, to the island.

“Brother, I sent him five times to Malta, you know that I am coming out of Malta; you understand me ? Do you understand what I am saying? You know what it means to pay forty-four [a reference to cash payments]? We come and go the next day and plof! And you leave and come back loaded ”, ends the change of text.

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Everything comes and goes the week of September 19 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/everything-comes-and-goes-the-week-of-september-19/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/everything-comes-and-goes-the-week-of-september-19/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 16:05:00 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/everything-comes-and-goes-the-week-of-september-19/ September will be hard to beat when it comes to new releases on Netflix. We’ve already seen a ton of great shows and movies added to the streaming service this month, and that will continue with Netflix releases for the week of September 19. Not only do we get the fourth season of Dear Whites, […]]]>

September will be hard to beat when it comes to new releases on Netflix. We’ve already seen a ton of great shows and movies added to the streaming service this month, and that will continue with Netflix releases for the week of September 19. Not only do we get the fourth season of Dear Whites, corn Midnight Mass – a horror series from the creator of The Haunting of Hill House – also debuts this week.

Best deal of the day Amazon has just launched a new massive sale – check out all the best deals here! Price:See today’s deals! Buy now Available on Amazon, BGR may receive a commission Available on Amazon BGR may receive a commission

Netflix Releases | Week of September 19


Sunday 19 September

Monday, September 20

Tuesday September 21

  • Go! Go! Cory Carson: Chrissy gets behind the wheel NETFLIX FAMILY
    • From arcade games to sleigh days and hiccup cures, Cory Carson’s curious little sister Chrissy is racing for fun and adventure all over town!
  • Love on the Spectrum: Season 2 NETFLIX SERIES 🇦🇺
    • Love on the S2 Spectrum continues to tell the stories of people with the autism spectrum as they navigate the world of dating and relationships. With a few familiar faces and some lovely new ones, this season represents an even wider range of people and personalities, showing just how diverse the autism spectrum truly is.

Wednesday September 22

  • Confessions of an invisible girl NETFLIX FILM
    • When the smart but socially awkward Tetê joins a new school, she’s ready to try anything to fit in with the cool kids. But soon, his plan hits a snag.
  • Dear Whites: Volume 4 NETFLIX SERIES
    • Reunited in the midst of a pandemic, future Sam and Lionel look back on their epic last year together in Winchester – which plays out like a ’90s musical.
  • Intrusion NETFLIX FILM
    • After a fatal break-in to a couple’s new dream home, the traumatized woman searches for answers and learns that the real danger has only just begun.
  • Jaguar NETFLIX SERIES 🇪🇸
    • In 1960s Spain, a Holocaust survivor joins a group of agents seeking justice against the hundreds of Nazis who fled to the country for hiding after World War II.
  • Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
    • In the late 1970s, an accused serial rapist claims that several prominent figures control his behavior, triggering a legal odyssey that captivates America.

Thursday 23 September

  • I Am Karl NETFLIX FILM
    • After most of her family are murdered in a terrorist attack, a young woman is unconsciously drawn to join the very group that killed them.

Friday September 24

  • Blood and Water: Season 2 NETFLIX SERIES 🇿🇦
    • Cape Town’s YA series returns with more twists.
  • Ganglands NETFLIX SERIES 🇫🇷
    • When his niece crosses paths with a powerful drug kingpin, professional thief Mehdi and his team of skilled thieves are drawn into a violent and deadly turf war.
  • New Orleans Jailbirds NETFLIX SERIES
    • A look at life beyond bars for a group of incarcerated women serving time in a New Orleans jail.
  • Midnight Mass NETFLIX SERIES
    • A community experiences miraculous events and fearful omens after the arrival of a mysterious priest. From the creator of “The Haunting of Hill House”.
  • My little pony: a new generation NETFLIX FAMILY
    • Equestria is divided. But a bright-eyed hero thinks earth ponies, pegasus, and unicorns should be friends – and, pied-à-terre, she’s determined to prove it.
  • Starling NETFLIX FILM
    • A woman adjusting to life after a loss is confronted with a fiery bird that has taken over her garden and a husband struggling to find a way forward.
  • Vendetta: truth, lies and the MafiaNETFLIX DOCUMENTARY 🇮🇹
    • This documentary series examines the true story of two of Sicily’s “anti-Mafia” crusaders, both of whom were tried for major crimes themselves.

Netflix Departures | Week of September 19

  • Nothing is leaving Netflix this week!

These are all versions of Netflix for the week of September 19. We’ll be back next week with more new movies, TV shows, and specials. In the meantime, check out everything else comes and goes on Netflix in september, Where just the original shows and movies if you prefer.


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Vendetta Truth Lies and The Mafia Season 1: release date and plot https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/vendetta-truth-lies-and-the-mafia-season-1-release-date-and-plot/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/vendetta-truth-lies-and-the-mafia-season-1-release-date-and-plot/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 04:22:26 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/vendetta-truth-lies-and-the-mafia-season-1-release-date-and-plot/ Vendetta Truth lies and the Mafia Season 1 release date. Vendetta, Truth, Lies and The Mafia season 1 is coming soon Netflix series. Everything is ready to go out this year. Davide Gambino will be the director of the series. It’s an Italian series and its original title is Vendetta: Guerra Nell’antimafia. The documentary tells […]]]>

Vendetta Truth lies and the Mafia Season 1 release date. Vendetta, Truth, Lies and The Mafia season 1 is coming soon Netflix series. Everything is ready to go out this year. Davide Gambino will be the director of the series. It’s an Italian series and its original title is Vendetta: Guerra Nell’antimafia. The documentary tells about human and procedural events. This is the story of the clash between Pino Maniaci and Silvana Saguto. Pino and Silvana are two prominent anti-Mafia figures. Vendetta, Truth, Lies and The Mafia will officially release this month. The trailer for the series has already been on YouTube. The new six-part documentary is slated for release on Netflix next week. The series will make its world debut on Netflix. It is produced by award-winning production company Nutopia in collaboration with Mon Amour Films.

Today in the article, we’re going to talk about Vendetta Truth Lies and The Mafia Season 1 release date. First, we will talk about the plot of the film, and then we will talk about the casting. In addition to that, the article also covers the streaming platforms of Vendetta season 1. In addition, we will also talk about the release date of Vendetta: Guerra Nell’antimafia.

Here is the trailer for the Documentary series.

Also read: Blue Bloods Season 12: Release Date, Cast; Overview

What is the plot of Vendetta Truth, Lies and Mafia Season1?

The documentary series follows the story of journalist Pino Maniaci and judge Silvana Saguto. Pino opens a journalistic investigation against Silvana. She was accused of patronage management of confiscated Mafia property. In return, Judge Silvana accused him of supporting mafia families whose property had been confiscated. Vendetta’s truth lies, and the Mafia is the story that turns between the two to find out the real culprit. This is the story of two leaders at the heart of the anti-mafia movement in Sicily. Maniaci, a television journalist, is accused of a crime held on his local television channel ‘Telejato’. For 20 years, he has been fighting organized crime. While Saguto is Italy’s most powerful anti-mafia judge battling a mafia in Sicily.

The two crossed paths when Maniaci began investigating corruption allegations against the Sicilian judiciary. He claims that Silvana, along with her family, operates a magic circle to siphon money. Silvana, in turn, accused him of being the spokesperson for the Mafia. Vendetta Truth Children and the Mafia Season 1 is a story of unseen lies in search of the truth. So wait and see what happens when those who are the protectors of the law are accused of being criminals themselves.

Pino Maniaci, the journalist, still from Vendetta Truth lies and the Mafia season 1

Also Read: Dan Brown & The Lost Symbol: Release Date & Preview

Who is part of the cast of Vendetta Season 1?

Vendetta: Guerra Nell’antimafia will feature Pino Maniaci and Silvana Saguto in the lead. They are eminent anti-mafia figures. In addition, the series is produced by Mon Amour Films and Nutopia. In addition, Netflix will serve as the documentary’s distribution partner. Davide Gambino, the director of the series, will also be the writer of Vendetta season 1. In addition to this, Ruggero Di Maggio will be the writer of the series.

Silvana sugato
Silvana Saguto, the judge, Vendetta Truth lies and the mafia season 1 || Netflix || || Nutipia || | My Love Films ||

Also Read: Maid: Release Date, Spoilers & Cast

Vendetta Truth lies and the Mafia Season 1: Release Date

Vendetta, Truth Lies and The Mafia Season 1 will premiere on September 24, 2021. It will air in the US and UK on September 24. In a week, this incredible series will be here on your screen. But where to watch Vendetta season 1? Well, that’s in there in the article.

Vendetta truth lies and the Mafia season 1 release date
Vendetta Truth Lies and the Mafia Season 1 || Netflix || || The Journalist Poll ||

Also Read: The North Water: Release Date, Cast & Preview

Where to watch Vendetta season 1?

Vendetta: Guerra Nell’antimafia premieres on Netflix next week Friday. It will arrive on your Netflix screen on September 24, 2021. You must have a Netflix subscription to watch the series.

Also read: Spencer Movie: Release date, cast &; Overview


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A country built on dirty money https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/a-country-built-on-dirty-money/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/a-country-built-on-dirty-money/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 06:03:54 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/a-country-built-on-dirty-money/ For almost 20 years Malta has built much of its international and national image around the online gambling industry. In 2004, just after joining the European Union, it became the first state to adopt a comprehensive legal framework for online gambling. Over the next few years, the Malta Gaming Authority, charged with overseeing the industry, […]]]>

For almost 20 years Malta has built much of its international and national image around the online gambling industry.

In 2004, just after joining the European Union, it became the first state to adopt a comprehensive legal framework for online gambling. Over the next few years, the Malta Gaming Authority, charged with overseeing the industry, grew into one of the most respected gaming authorities in the world.

In 2019, iGaming was worth $ 2 billion to the Maltese economy, or 13.6% of gross domestic product. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, that figure only dropped to 12%, showing the industry was almost entirely immune to mass unemployment and the global economic downturn.

Malta is home to several hundred gambling companies, affiliates, game development companies, specialist marketing agencies, recruiting firms, specialist law firms and business service providers, “IGaming consultations”, payment processors, computer hardware and software. It’s also home to thousands of iGaming employees, many of whom are from Europe and live in Sliema and Gzira with over € 3,000 in wages they spend (literally) in chic St Julians bars five nights a week.

It’s a rich and ruthless industry that only cares about making money at the expense of others, but that is not my criticism.

My criticism is that the iGaming industry in Malta is becoming the last nail in its coffin and the burden on an already sinking ship.

Earlier this year, Malta came under intense scrutiny in a Forbes coin who has dissected its long and complicated history of gambling scandals. As The Shift has also pointed out many times, the success of the gambling industry rests on ties to the Mafia, underground criminal networks, criminality. financial and fraud.

While all the warning signs were there, it wasn’t until 2017 that the country’s gambling problem started to make headlines. Leaks of emails have surfaced showing that the MGA did not follow its own rules between 2012 and 2014. Lax oversight meant that betting companies were operating under conditions where money laundering and money laundering occurred. other criminal practices were occurring.

In May 2017, Malta files exposed more than 150,000 documents demonstrating how Maltese companies and institutions were complicit in financial crime. But it was too late; the EU was already furious with Malta for growing allegations that it would let financial crime continue under its nose.

Malta tried to tackle bad public relations by introducing the Gaming Law in March 2018, but this made it easier for operators to establish themselves. The application process has been simplified which means less paperwork for those wishing to obtain a Maltese license.

Then, in January 2021, the former CEO of MGA Heathcliff Farrugia was charged with corruption. It is alleged that he was in collusion with the man accused of giving the order to assassinate Daphne Caruana Galizia, the shady businessman Yorgen Fenech. Media reported that he provided commercially sensitive information to the accused killer.

In the context of Malta’s use as a jurisdiction to avoid taxes and persistent corruption in all aspects of government and institutions, other issues were at stake. Mafia clan accounts using Malta to launder money and facilitating illegal betting multiplied.

Over the past four years, a significant amount of The Shift’s virtual columns have been devoted to these reports.

In 2015, six companies registered in Malta saw their assets seized as part of a crackdown on illegal gambling activities initiated by the Calabrian group ‘Ndrangheta. Further links were discovered because some of the Italians on the “wanted list” had businesses and addresses in Malta.

At the same time, the Malta Gaming Authority said the Italians had 10 out of 200 licenses. It was the same year that they revoked the licenses of nine companies, including BetUniq, for links to the Calabrian Mafia.

In 2017, Italian riflemen arrested 30 people as part of Operation Beta. The arrests concerned money laundering and illegal gambling carried out by the Sicilian mafia clan Santapaoloa-Ercolano. Several Maltese companies and individuals have been identified in the survey.

Benedetto Bacci was then arrested along with 31 other people in an illegal gambling case. He allegedly agreed with Cosa Nostra and used a Maltese company, Phoenix International, to launder money.

Less than a year later, Operation Galassia revealed how Mafia clans, including the ‘Ndrangheta, used Maltese companies, including SKS365 holdings, to launder the proceeds of crime of up to € 1 billion. One of the companies involved, Centurionbet, was licensed to operate a gambling site in Malta.

The Investigative Reporting Project Italy described Malta as a “Ticket machine for the Italian Mafia. “

In the same year, 2018, Malta is at the top of the list of countries where the Italian mafia is most present. The map was produced by Transcrime using annual reports from Italian anti-mafia prosecutors and the anti-mafia police directorate. The country has been highlighted as a leading jurisdiction for runaway mafia criminals.

In 2019, the aforementioned SKS665 has been accused of failing to report a staggering € 4 billion taxable income from illegal gambling in Italy. This equates to tax evasion of 124 million euros.

Then in March 2021, a Maltese public limited company has been identified as being involved in a € 600 million tax evasion scam. The individuals involved are said to be linked to the Santapaola-Ercolano clan.

Around the same time, Surgery Double Game through the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project investigated some 336 people involved in illegal gambling in Sicily, Italy and Malta. They used Malta as a jurisdiction to channel money from illegal betting.

Through June 2021, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was under investigation through Italian authorities for using a Malta-based company to facilitate money laundering, potentially linked to the ‘Ndrangheta mafia gang.

The Shift recently highlighted a report which discovered that a Maltese licensed company could potentially be founded and funded by a cyber scam that scammed 200,000 people and killed two under mysterious circumstances.

Current director of the company Iosif Galea, a self-proclaimed iGaming consultant linked to Nexia BT, now defunct, with his directors involved in grand corruption and money laundering, did not answer questions about the alleged infiltration of illicit funds. He continues to maintain close ties with the government and parliamentarians

It’s an exhausting list, isn’t it? And remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. As we know all too well, one of the finest skills of Maltese governments and institutions is to cover up wrongdoing, illegality and financial crime. Plus, given their pretty impressive track record of profiting from the wrongdoing happening under their noses, I imagine they have little incentive to nip it in the bud.

Instead, the Maltese gambling industry is pushing the island’s reputation further into the pits.

I wish they could harness their skill and enthusiasm to be involved in wrongdoing and channel it to turn the country around. Maybe then we could see Malta being taken off the FATF gray list within this decade.

Instead, what we have is a nation that is shamelessly built on the proceeds of crime. Every steel beam, concrete plinth, and even government investment is stained with the stain of illicit money. There is no escaping it; if Malta is regularly cited as having received corrupt money, and these companies and licensees pay the state, it makes sense that politicians’ salaries are paid with it.

But more than that, this money is making its way into all the crevices of society. A whole industry built by upstarts and oiks, fueled by coffee and cocaine, and relentless in its quest for wealth. Corruption and links to drugs, fuel smuggling and illegal gambling are dressed up in shiny costumes and glossed over at posh conferences. Bright-faced politicians and ‘entrepreneurs’ delivering speeches on’ holistic growth ‘,’ innovative verticals’ and ‘multi-faceted integrated business solutions.

Meanwhile, the reality on the ground is that respectable operators are leaving en masse. Real international business service providers have moved away from MGA, and only the desperate and despicable remain, using terms such as “flexible tax regime” and “hands-off regulatory approach” as code words for “You can get away with murder. “

I know all this because I worked among them. I have attended lectures and heard the ruthless gossip of lawyers. I have also heard the bravado on night outings and witnessed serious wrongdoing swept under the rug and forced to quietly disappear.

This culture of impunity reigns supreme. The protagonists will continue to get richer as the average person struggles as one of their beloved country’s main sources of income dries up. Even if it does not dry up, the continued pillaging of reputation at the hands of the government and its cronies is already causing irreparable damage to Malta, its economy and its credibility.

Until something changes Malta will continue to be an EU member state built on mafia money, tax evasion, corruption and bribes, and of course, l dirty money from criminals who buy themselves Maltese nationality.


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From Flanders to Sicily, contradictions abound on the European religious scene https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/from-flanders-to-sicily-contradictions-abound-on-the-european-religious-scene/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/from-flanders-to-sicily-contradictions-abound-on-the-european-religious-scene/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 06:02:58 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/from-flanders-to-sicily-contradictions-abound-on-the-european-religious-scene/ Having spent most of my adult life and career living in Western Europe and covering Catholicism, I have developed three major observations on the cultural landscape here vis-à-vis the Church. – First, the Church undergoes a long-term transition from a culture-shaping majority to an optional subculture, sometimes in harmony with and sometimes at odds with […]]]>

Having spent most of my adult life and career living in Western Europe and covering Catholicism, I have developed three major observations on the cultural landscape here vis-à-vis the Church.

– First, the Church undergoes a long-term transition from a culture-shaping majority to an optional subculture, sometimes in harmony with and sometimes at odds with the larger majority.

– Second, the Church sometimes does not help itself by doing unnecessary and irritating things that feed the negative stereotypes of the majority.

– Thirdly, despite all this, the Faith still has an ineradicable hold over a surprising part of the population.

The developments of the last few days illustrate each of these points.

Let’s start with Flanders, that is to say the northern part of Dutch-speaking Belgium, where the state traditionally owns the buildings of the Church and the surrounding real estate. There are a total of 1,768 state-owned Church properties, and over the past decades, 181 of these, which were no longer regularly used as places of worship, have been converted for use. civics such as libraries, youth centers, concert halls and soon.

Churches

Many more of these churches could be converted to other uses, with only 700 considered banned as they are still needed for liturgical and pastoral purposes. The mayors of Flanders have apparently complained that the process of approving these structures for conversion takes too long and is too limited in scope, and that in the meantime cities have to pay for maintenance and maintenance.

Now the Flemish government, over the objections of the local Catholic Church, has approved a new plan that allows conversion for commercial purposes, so that these old churches can become supermarkets, nightclubs, office buildings. or whatever the local market demands. .

Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, who made waves at family synods for his progressive positions on homosexuality and divorce, strongly protested the move, which broke previous government commitments to settle these questions in dialogue with the church.

“What Jews find unacceptable for a synagogue, Muslims for a mosque, and Masons for a lodge, Christians cannot tolerate for a church either,” Bishop Bonny said, wondering aloud where it would all end.

“What about an animal shelter, or a clothing store, or a theater, or, why not, a brothel?” Bishop Bonny thought. However, there is nothing to indicate that the Flemish authorities were particularly moved by the demonstration.

(I can’t help but note the irony that this obvious religious challenge is being delivered in a country whose name, to Americans, conjures up images of Ned Flanders of the Simpsons, whose unwavering religious faith is the stuff of popular legend.)

In other disciplines, Corlazzoli reports, if teachers are required to attend continuing education courses, the cost is borne by the state.

Then, under the heading of “Stupid Stuff the Church Does That Make Things Worse,” comes another story this week from Italy regarding religion teachers in public schools.

In the Italian system, public school pupils aged 6 to 18 receive compulsory religious education every week. Most take courses in Catholicism, although non-Catholics may choose to receive courses in religious history or philosophy instead. Teachers who cover Catholicism are paid by the state, but they must have the approval of the local bishop.

This week, the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, in an article by Alex Corlazzoli, revealed that some Italian dioceses for years charged these professors of religion an “administrative fee” of around 100 €, allegedly to cover the costs of organization of annual professional development courses. These courses are required to maintain the certificate that the teacher is approved by the bishop, so teachers basically have no choice.

Pocket change

It might sound like change, but it’s worth pointing out that the average teacher salary in Italy is less than € 25,000, which means every little bit counts.

In other disciplines, Corlazzoli reports, if teachers are obliged to take continuing education courses, the cost is borne by the state. He also adds that among religion teachers in Palermo, Sicily, the prize is unofficially referred to as il pizzo, which is a local understatement to refer to the protection money paid to the Mafia to keep him alone.

“Isn’t it strange that the Church insists that the state must pay the salaries of religion teachers, and then demand that the teachers themselves pay for their development? asks Mr Corlazzoli.

That’s a good question, and history feeds impressions of a Church primarily interested in money – precisely the sort of thing that makes non-religious cultural majorities less inclined to be friendly.

Despite all this, another story in Italy last week illustrates Catholicism’s continued hold on the popular imagination, this time in the worst possible way.

In Acireale in Sicily, the vice-commander of the local carabinieri unit, the Italian military police who play an important role in the routine policing here, was seriously wounded by gunshot during an altercation at the church of Santa Maria degli Ammalati during a first communion Mass for a group of children from the parish.

Reports say the injuries are not life threatening, but there is a risk of paralysis for Sebastiano Giovanni Grasso, whose cervical vertebrae have been damaged.

There are reports that the argument broke out between an ex-husband and an ex-wife. The seats had been determined by lot, leaving the ex-husband and his new mate at the front of the church with the ex-wife and family members in the back.

The ex-wife objected, resulting in a verbal argument that flowed outside the church and turned physical. The Carabinieri Commander, present for his own son’s First Communion, stepped in to try to calm things down, at which point the boy’s 70-year-old grandfather at the center of the row says he saw a threat to the child and produced a gun. In the fight ensuring the gunshot exploded and the commander was hit.

Reports say the injuries are not life threatening, but there is a risk of paralysis for Sebastiano Giovanni Grasso, whose cervical vertebrae have been damaged. The grandfather is currently facing charges of attempted murder and illegal possession of a weapon.

Of course, the argument that led to the shooting had nothing to do with Church. In theory, it could have broken out in a restaurant, supermarket, or pretty much anywhere. Yet clearly there was something about a defining moment like a First Communion that sparked special passion on the part of those attending this tragic situation, albeit many of them, according to the pastor. , are not really regular Mass spectators and may not even be believers.

Secularized societies

Sociologist Grace Davie noted that even in the world’s most secularized societies, the embers of religious faith continue to burn and often only need a spark to ignite again. She cites among others the sinking in 1994 of the Estonia ferry in Sweden in which nearly 900 people died, one of the biggest maritime disasters of the 20e century. In response, thousands of lay Swedes flocked to their churches and fell to their knees.

In its terrible way, the history of Sicily does the same: No matter what people think or how they live, in certain crucial moments they always appreciate what the Church offers, sometimes with a destructive passion.

It may not quite be a sign of a return to Christendom, but it is not nothing either.


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Vicious crimes linked to the boss of the mafia “The Devil” confused with the Scouse diner https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/vicious-crimes-linked-to-the-boss-of-the-mafia-the-devil-confused-with-the-scouse-diner/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/vicious-crimes-linked-to-the-boss-of-the-mafia-the-devil-confused-with-the-scouse-diner/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2021 16:53:18 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/vicious-crimes-linked-to-the-boss-of-the-mafia-the-devil-confused-with-the-scouse-diner/ You couldn’t make it up. An innocent Formula 1 fan having lunch with his son in an Amsterdam restaurant has been swarmed by cops, convinced he is one of Europe’s most wanted gangsters. Yet the arrested 54-year-old, who was only named Mark L, soon found himself the victim of an extraordinary case of mistaken identity. […]]]>

You couldn’t make it up.

An innocent Formula 1 fan having lunch with his son in an Amsterdam restaurant has been swarmed by cops, convinced he is one of Europe’s most wanted gangsters.

Yet the arrested 54-year-old, who was only named Mark L, soon found himself the victim of an extraordinary case of mistaken identity.

His Scouse accent was so strong, the cops realized that the fleeing mafia boss couldn’t have faked it.

Matteo Messina Denaro, 59, has a lot of specialist skills, but accents are not one of them.

The professional Sicilian-born gangster and one of the main leaders of the Italian Mafia, Denaro has been on the run since being involved in two major bombings in the early 1990s.



Denaro-linked Florence bombing killed 5

After shockwaves erupted in Sicily in mid-1992 and lawyers pursuing the mob were found dead, Denaro’s organization was immediately suspected.

Yet Denaro and other Mafia bosses have responded to the new police attention by planning more attacks.

In 1993 alone, four massive explosions rocked Florence, Rome and Milan.

Ten died and nearly 100 were injured.

The mafia had responded in a certain way, but the families also exaggerated their game.



Milan bombing was another response to cop crackdown on mobs in the early 1990s
Milan bombing was another response to cop crackdown on mobs in the early 1990s

Denaro was forced to flee, living briefly with his mother and unable to meet his young daughter.

This instantaneous escape only confirmed the authorities’ suspicion that he was responsible for the deadly bombings.

Finally, in 2002, he was convicted in absentia by the court for his role in the 1993 attacks – and sentenced to life in prison.

Since then, Denaro has been one of Europol’s most wanted – and would face an immediate life sentence if arrested.



Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro
Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro

So it’s easy to see why the cops were eager to arrest a man who seemed oddly similar to them.

Yet despite the infamous bombings for which Denaro gained notoriety and was forced into exile, they do not represent the full extent of his brilliant gangster career.

According to the hit Netflix series World’s Most Wanted, Denaro bragged about killing enough people “to fill a little graveyard.”

With experts estimating his death toll at around 50, Denaro is not lying.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for his role in the 1993 bombings, but was not given another life sentence until last October for his role in the 1992 murders of prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Falcone, his wife and three policemen from his security team were killed when their cars exploded on a Sicilian highway.

Borsellino was murdered with five other people by a bomb as he crossed a Palermo street to visit his mother two months later.

Denaro is from Castelvetrano, a small town in western Sicily known for its picturesque landscapes.

His father Don Ciccio was the boss of the local gang, teaching his son to use a gun at 14.

Denaro set out to define himself as a young adult when he murdered a rival crime boss and ordered his pregnant girlfriend to be strangled.

He went on to pursue a reputation as a playboy, eschewing the old-fashioned conservative values ​​of the Italian Mafia.

Often seen wearing Ray-Bans in a Porsche while in his splendor, Denaro was as interested in his public personality as he was in the dark arts that made his family one of the most prosperous in Sicily.

A Sicilian court heard last year, Denaro helped organize the kidnapping of 12-year-old Giuseppe Di Matteo in a bid to discourage his father from speaking to authorities.

After two years in captivity, Giuseppe was strangled and his body dissolved in acid.

Although the Cosa Nostra is not as powerful as it was in the ’80s and’ 90s, the involvement of gangs in European drug trafficking has breathed new life into the crowd.

For now, however, Denaro’s life will have to remain carefully hidden if he is to stay out of prison.


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What’s Coming to Netflix: “Sex Education” Season 3, “Ankahi Kahaniya” and More https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/whats-coming-to-netflix-sex-education-season-3-ankahi-kahaniya-and-more/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/whats-coming-to-netflix-sex-education-season-3-ankahi-kahaniya-and-more/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2021 11:18:38 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/whats-coming-to-netflix-sex-education-season-3-ankahi-kahaniya-and-more/ Our favorite Moordale gang returns; three stories of love, loss and longing in a new anthology; and a biopic on Michael Schumacher are some of the new highlights of the platform Here’s the full list of titles coming out soon: Available on 09/15/2021 Nailed down ! : Season 6 Home bakers with a horrendous track […]]]>

Our favorite Moordale gang returns; three stories of love, loss and longing in a new anthology; and a biopic on Michael Schumacher are some of the new highlights of the platform

Here’s the full list of titles coming out soon:

Available on 09/15/2021

Nailed down ! : Season 6

Home bakers with a horrendous track record attempt to recreate edible masterpieces for a cash prize. It’s partly a reality contest, partly a hot mess.

Schumacher

What's happening on Netflix:

The life of Michael Schumacher, who became a Formula 1 icon thanks to a daring and provocative spirit, is explored in this insightful documentary.

Night books

Scary stories fan Alex must tell a scary story every night – or stay trapped with his new friend in a wicked witch’s magical apartment forever.

Available on 09/16/2021

Final Space: Season 3

What's happening on Netflix:

Gary and his crew strive to survive the chaos and carnage of Final Space and escape the evil Invictus, eager to harness the powers of Mooncake.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Mighty teenager Adam and his heroic team of misfits discover the legendary power of Grayskull – and their destiny to defend Eternia from the sinister Skeletor.

My heroes were cowboys

What's happening on Netflix:

Robin Wiltshire, an immigrant inspired by Hollywood western iconography, finds meaning and redemption through the art of horse training.

Available on 09/17/2021

Squid game

What's happening on Netflix:

Hundreds of cash strapped players accept a strange invitation to participate in children’s games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits – with deadly stakes.

Chicago Party Aunt

Chicago party girl Diane is a fan of the Bears who eat beef sandwiches and have a knack for avoiding adulthood. But she has a soft spot for her nerdy nephew.

Sex Education: Season 3

What's happening on Netflix:

It’s a New Year, Otis is having casual sex, Eric and Adam are official, and Jean has a baby on the way. Meanwhile, new director Hope tries to bring Moordale back to a pillar of excellence.

The father who moves the mountains

What's happening on Netflix:

When his son goes missing on a snowy hike in the mountains, a retired intelligence officer will stop at nothing – and risk everything – to find him.

The fortress

Tired of odd jobs, three Marseille cops have the chance to dismantle a major drug network. But the lines blur when a key informant makes a big request.

Ankahi Kahaniya

What's happening on Netflix:

As big city life buzzes around them, lonely souls discover surprising sources of connection and companionship in three stories of love, loss and longing.

Available on 09/21/2021

Love on the Spectrum: Season 2

Love on the Spectrum Season 2 continues to tell the stories of people with the autism spectrum as they navigate the world of dating and relationships. With a few familiar faces and some lovely new ones, this season represents an even wider range of people and personalities, showing just how diverse the autism spectrum truly is.

Go! Go! Cory Carson: Chrissy gets behind the wheel

What's happening on Netflix:

From arcade games to sleigh days and hiccup cures, Cory Carson’s curious little sister Chrissy is racing for fun and adventure all over town!

Available on 09/22/2021

Dear Whites: Volume 4

Reunited in the midst of a pandemic, future Sam and Lionel look back on their epic last year together in Winchester – which plays out like a ’90s musical.

Confessions of an invisible girl

What's happening on Netflix:

When the smart but socially awkward Tetê joins a new school, she’s ready to try anything to fit in with the cool kids. But soon, his plan hits a snag.

Jaguar

In 1960s Spain, a Holocaust survivor joins a group of agents seeking justice against the hundreds of Nazis who fled to the country for hiding after World War II.

Intrusion

What's happening on Netflix:

After a fatal break-in into a couple’s new dream home, the traumatized woman searches for answers and learns that the real danger has only just begun.

Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan

In the late 1970s, an accused serial rapist claims that several prominent figures control his behavior, triggering a legal odyssey that captivates America.

Available from 23/09/2021

I Am Karl

What's happening on Netflix:

After most of her family are murdered in a terrorist attack, a young woman is unconsciously drawn to join the very group that killed them.

Available on 09/24/2021

Starling

A woman adjusting to life after a loss is confronted with a fiery bird that has taken over her garden and a husband who struggles to find a way forward.

New Orleans Jailbirds

What's happening on Netflix:

A look at life beyond bars for a group of incarcerated women serving time in a New Orleans jail.

Blood and Water: Season 2

Cape Town’s YA series returns with more twists.

Midnight Mass

What's happening on Netflix:

A community experiences miraculous events and fearful omens after the arrival of a mysterious priest. From the creator of “The Haunting of Hill House”.

My little pony: a new generation

Equestria is divided. But a bright-eyed hero thinks earth ponies, pegasus and unicorns should be friends – and, pied-à-terre, she’s determined to prove it.

Kota Factory: Season 2

What's happening on Netflix:

Continuing their quest for a coveted IIT seat, Vaibhav and his friends try not to let academic pressure – or teenage angst – take over.

Ganglands

When his niece crosses paths with a powerful drug kingpin, professional thief Mehdi and his team of skilled thieves are drawn into a violent and deadly turf war.

Vendetta: truth, lies and the Mafia

What's happening on Netflix:

This documentary series examines the true story of two of Sicily’s “anti-Mafia” crusaders, both of whom were tried for major crimes themselves.

Available on 09/28/2021

Ada Twist, scientist

What's happening on Netflix:

Pint-sized scientist Ada Twist and her two best friends ask big questions and work together to uncover the truth about it all!

Hollywood clichés attack!

Hollywood clichés attack! is a special show featuring some of the most famous films in cinema history as well as a plethora of A-Listers, screenwriters, academics and Hollywood critics as they guide us through the funny, weird and controversial clichés that appear on our movie screens.

Available on 09/29/2021

The chestnut man

What's happening on Netflix:

A young woman is found brutally murdered in a playground in Copenhagen. Next to her is a small doll made of chestnuts. Adapted from the acclaimed novel.

Friend zone

Thibault, a hopeful romantic, believes his luck might change when sparks spring between him and Rose. But can he go from bestie to boyfriend?

It looks like love

What's happening on Netflix:

Fashion assistant Maca is about to get her life back on track after a devastating breakup, when Leo, the man who broke her heart, returns. Seeking the support of their best friends, Adriana and Jime, the three of them will learn that love can be complicated.

Meat Eater: Season 10 Part 1

Steven’s quest for delicious game in exotic locations takes him to the Rockies and Ozarks, the marshes of North Carolina and the prairies of Hawaii.

No one comes out alive

What's happening on Netflix:

A horror story in a haunted house, a thought-provoking tale of immigrant life, and a world where ancient folklore can turn terrifying.

Available on 09/30/2021

Love 101: Season 2

The Istanbul series about 1990s teens navigating awkwardness and grief returns for a second season.

Luna Park

What's happening on Netflix:

In 1960s Rome, a meeting between a girl raised in a carnival and a girl from a wealthy household leads to new and unexpected intrigues, secrets and loves.


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Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​road tested in Sicily https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/bentley-continental-gt-speed-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8broad-tested-in-sicily/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/bentley-continental-gt-speed-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8broad-tested-in-sicily/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2021 06:02:57 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/bentley-continental-gt-speed-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8broad-tested-in-sicily/ Bentley’s Continental GT Speed ​​Reaches Dizzying New Heights All in beauty, artistry and vigor, the Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​is the brand’s most powerful car to date but, a classic grand tourer, just as suited for easy cruising on a scenic trip to Sicily. Some cars tap into our primary emotions. The Bentley Continental GT […]]]>

Bentley’s Continental GT Speed ​​Reaches Dizzying New Heights

All in beauty, artistry and vigor, the Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​is the brand’s most powerful car to date but, a classic grand tourer, just as suited for easy cruising on a scenic trip to Sicily.

Some cars tap into our primary emotions. The Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​does it effortlessly through automotive beauty, artistry and extraordinary vigor. Bentley Motors’ latest car is the brand’s most powerful in 101 years of history. He’s a classic grand tourer too – happy to leisurely roam the scenic Sicilian roads, navigate the narrow, winding lanes flanked by vineyards that lead to volcanic Etna, and then ride at incredible speed along the improvised Bentley circuit. at the abandoned NATO base at Comiso airport.

The new Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​Cabriolet

We are in Sicily to test the Speed ​​and the Italian island suits us a bit. The rugged landscape scorched by the extreme heat of summer, the ancient hilltop towns and villages where so many civilizations have walked and shaped, the capricious Mount Etna that gives this fertile land its nutrients, hills that also gave birth to the mafia which, as landowners, monopolizes the lucrative lemon cultivation.

These contrasts help explain a car that is both an elegant, luxurious gran turismo and a meaty performance beast.

Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​Convertible

The history of the Continental GT Speed ​​began in 2007 with a car based on the regular Conti GT but also inspired by the 3-liter Bentley Speeds of the 1920s. This latest third generation continues the story. Much work has therefore been devoted to improving its performance and handling. The 6.0-liter 12-cylinder engine is unique to Bentley and delivers an impressive 659 horsepower and 900 Nm of torque, can accelerate to 208 mph and reach 60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds.

The Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​takes its technology lightly

Yet at no point in our journey do these big numbers intimidate or overshadow the experience. On the contrary, the Speed ​​carries its technology lightly. “It’s an extremely powerful beast, but you don’t have to go shopping at traffic lights,” says Bentley’s new design director, Andreas Mindt. “We leave that to Lamborghini,” he notes of the Volkswagen Group sports car maker, which also owns Bentley. “You race Lamborghinis to show off their high revs and high spoilers. Bentley is the complete opposite of that. It is a great place.

The new Bentley Continental GT Speed

The adjustable air suspension helps the Speed ​​glide over most surfaces, with the bumpy roads of southern Sicily providing plenty of opportunities to test this out. Unique to the car is active anti-roll, which keeps it level when cornering, while the all-wheel steering system improves dynamic handling in all three Bentley driving modes. The Speed ​​also features advanced driver assistance technology and has the largest brakes installed on any production car. Meanwhile, the engineers managed to change the acoustics by smoothing out the annoyances – body vibrations, road noise – while amplifying the fun sporty notes.

Discreet visual flourishes

The Speed ​​design continues the visual story of the quieter Continental GT in coupe and convertible styles, but with additional flourishes, none of which are too garish or macho. These include a dark-hued radiator and bumper grille, sculpted sport sills, a dark-hued radiator matrix, and a discreet chrome Speed ​​badge on the front wing. The tires are 22-inch Speed ​​Wheels in Gloss Silver, with the option of a Dark Tint or Gloss Black finish. Versions adorned with fuel and oil filler caps are standard on the Speed, while illuminated Bentley scuff plates on the sills are a nod to its performance.

The interior of the Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​Cabriolet

Seven roof colors are available on the Speed ​​Convertible, including a modern take on the traditional tweed. The mechanics are Bentley’s “Z-fold” which perfectly blends the fabric top with the metal body and contributes, we’re told, to a three-decibel reduction in overall noise level compared to its predecessor. With unexpected extreme rainfall on the second day of our Sicily road trip, we can confirm that the roof performed extremely well.

Inside, the cabin is tactile and ergonomic. You can feel the presence of Crewe’s craftsmen here, with surfaces covered in soft diamond quilted leather and one-piece wood veneers. There is a huge menu of materials to choose from, including 26 skin tones that can be mixed with Alcantara. Customers can choose an open pore veneer of dark burr walnut, crown cut walnut or koa, cover the center console with a dark tint aluminum trim, or for the ultimate bespoke experience, visit the team. Bentley Mulliner to inspire you.

Bentley lets you customize every point of the Continental GT Speed

Materials search

The Speed ​​can safely stay within the confines of traditional luxury materials, but the Mindt team is exploring eco-friendly fabrics and practices for future Bentley cars. He explains some of his ideas: “We want to reduce chrome in our cars, look for alternatives to leather and make sure our leather suppliers meet the standards of the Leather Working Group,” the environmental body that Bentley recently joined.

He says the brand plans to work with reclaimed woods such as discarded Venetian briccole (wooden mooring poles). “These poles bring with them imperfections which then tell other stories. You can turn all of these into their own beautiful stories.

Bentley Continental GT Speed ​​at the abandoned NATO base at Comiso Airport, Sicily

The Continental GT Speed ​​will be produced in limited numbers at the Bentley factory in Crewe. Certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust, the plant collects its own rainwater and solar power and recycles it where possible, while the brand strives to make all of its net zero business by 2030.

This means that from the next five years the company will no longer manufacture gasoline cars. And so, the Speed ​​seems like a fitting farewell ode to the age of combustion as Bentley moves towards an electric future.


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Italy police dismantle international cocaine network linked to Malta https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/italy-police-dismantle-international-cocaine-network-linked-to-malta/ https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/italy-police-dismantle-international-cocaine-network-linked-to-malta/#respond Tue, 14 Sep 2021 19:49:00 +0000 https://ristoranteicrociferi.com/italy-police-dismantle-international-cocaine-network-linked-to-malta/ Italian finance police on Tuesday dismantled an international cocaine smuggling ring run by the ‘Ndrangheta criminal group after deciphering a secret code, said the operation commander. More than 400 officers carried out dawn raids across the country, armed with 57 arrest warrants after a four-year, dubbed “Crypto” investigation of more than 90 suspects, many of […]]]>

Italian finance police on Tuesday dismantled an international cocaine smuggling ring run by the ‘Ndrangheta criminal group after deciphering a secret code, said the operation commander.

More than 400 officers carried out dawn raids across the country, armed with 57 arrest warrants after a four-year, dubbed “Crypto” investigation of more than 90 suspects, many of whom are from known Mafia families.

Those arrested are accused of transporting large quantities of cocaine from Northern Europe and Spain to Italy, of having hidden them in false bottoms of car trunks and, in some cases, of transporting them afterwards. to Malta by boat.

“They communicated via a complex code matching numbers to seemingly random letters of the alphabet, without any spaces or punctuation,” Captain Carmine Virno, whose team investigated, told AFP.

“The Ndrangheta families of Gioia Tauro and Rosarno in southern Italy have established direct contact with South American suppliers through an intermediary in the Dominican Republic,” police said in a statement.

Another suspect, who lives in Germany but has ties to the mountainous town of Guardavalle in Calabria – a stronghold of the mob – has acted both as a courier and as a middleman with dealers in northern Europe, has t -he declares.

The traffickers “used disposable German SIM cards and communicated only by text message, so they could not be identified by their voice if the phones were tapped,” Virno said.

Crack the code

The Virno team worked meticulously on the code until they finally broke it when they understood the word “con”, which means “with” in English.

On Tuesday, they found proof they were right, the police captain said.

Officers who searched the house of a member of the upper circle discovered a pizzas, seen by AFP, with the alphabet written in blue and the corresponding numbers below in red.

A pizzas is a small piece of paper traditionally used by the Sicilian Mafia for high level secret communications.

This one, carefully cut out in a squared notebook, encoded large orders of cocaine.

Once the code was cracked, police resorted to old-fashioned surveillance techniques to gather evidence against the suspects, who were adept at evading modern technological traps, he said.

Some 3.7 million euros in assets were seized during the searches on Tuesday.

Based in Calabria, the region that forms the tip of the Italian boot, the ‘Ndrangheta is considered one of the most powerful crime syndicates in the world due to its control over the cocaine movement in Europe.

It has extended its reach to all parts of the world and has long overtaken Sicily’s Cosa Nostra as Italy’s largest mafia organization.

The investigation showed the ‘Ndrangheta the families nevertheless believed that the Sicilian Mafia had its use.

They bonded with the powerful Cappello family in Catania to set up the shipment of cocaine to Malta.

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