Connect to share and comment

Thailand arrests Vito Roberto Palazzolo, 'South African' mafia banker wanted in Italy

Vito Roberto Palazzolo, a Sicilian mafia banker wanted in Italy, has been arrested in Thailand.

Italy: credit dries up so the Mafia steps in

Report claims organized crime has become the main lender to Italy's small and medium sized businesses.
Mafia loansEnlarge
Naples crime boss Michele Zagaria following his arrest last month. That's not likely to put a crimp in Italian organized crime's profitable loan sharking activities as desperate small businesses turn to the mob as Italian banks have switched off the credit pump. (ROBERTO SALOMONE/AFP/Getty Images)

As many as 200,000 businesses may have taken loans from the Mafia to stay in business, according to a report issued by the Italian business organization, Confesercenti, working with the Sicily-based anti-Mafia group SOS Impresa. It claimed that the Mafia had now become Italy's main source of loans to small and medium-sized businesses.

According to the report, organized crime has an annual turnover of 140 billion euros ($178.9 billion) of which 100 billion euros is profit. The liquidity of various criminal groups is now financing Italy's small businesses as banks have stopped lending to them.

Syndicate content