Increased interest in crime in cryptocurrency and NFT

On the one hand, there are fewer bloody actions and behaviors capable of provoking social panic, and on the other hand, the trend of mafia associations is increasing towards a progressive occupation of the legal market. This is the scheme outlined by the Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate (Dia) in the report for the first half of 2021.

The number of mafia-type murders decreases (from 9 to 2), as does mafia-type associations (from 77 to 57). At the same time, the tendency to pollute the legal economy is increasing, as confirmed by the increase in suspicious transaction reports: 49,104 in the first half of 2019, 54,228 in the first half of 2020, and 68,534 in the first half of 2021, as well as prohibitions against the mafia , which are respectively 279, 384, and 455.

The Department of Anti-Mafia Investigation confirms how the criminal factions are interested in “the latest technologies and in particular in all the tools that allow the rapid and invisible passage of funds,” as evidenced by the use of “payments made with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero, which do not allow tracking and escaping from surveillance.” banking,” the report said.

Among the digital tools that are defined as “new threats to money laundering,” there are also NFT measures, “when they can aim to conceal the illicit source of capital used in transactions.”

Social networks are also increasingly frequently used to share text messages and the obvious audio-visual portions of Camorra’s inspiration: Dia notes that “there is a strong risk that the identity of the mafia will also take control through the credibility and authority of the social profile that enhances and propagates the criminal reputation of the subject with the stature of the Camorra man”.

On the other hand, Ndrangheta is “silent but more lively than ever in her commercial and entrepreneurial career,” Dia’s agent, who prefers to remain anonymous, explains to Linkiesta. Gangs still play a leading role in international cocaine trafficking and “could try to expand their illicit business also through potential changes in the criminal balance with associations from a different matrix”.

But not only that, because for several years now one of the “specialties” of the ‘Ndrangheta has been financial technology. “In the past, my family has always invested heavily in the web and especially in cryptocurrencies. We have relied on specialized people and technicians who have conducted research to understand new ways to recycle, buy, pay for, and make the most of medicines. Cryptocurrencies are now seen in the future,” explains Luigi Bonaventura, former Croton head of the Vrenna-Bonaventura family and now a legal collaborator.

La Día also emphasizes the increased attention being paid to potential infiltration in bidding and tendering procedures, but also reveals how “despite the inevitable slowdown in business activities due to the pandemic in the past two years, the interest of criminal organizations in hoarding contracts and public works”.

The agent stresses that “the immediate availability of illicit capital can affect, through money laundering activities, the ability of associations to pollute the economy and infiltrate the public administration to intercept public resources brought into the production cycle.” Including those envisaged in the National Resilience Recovery Plan (Pnrr).

The report notes that the period is still “characterized by the persistence of the Covid-19 epidemic”, and the analysis of the crime trend “continues to show how criminal organizations are moving according to a strategy aimed at strengthening control over the territory.” Like? In the most severe period of health and economic crisis, many clans acted like bank branches, with clearly higher interest on loans. Bonaventura points out that at this moment, on the other hand, in order for their companies to survive and enter the cleanest nerve centers of the economy, they must collude with the world of politics and local businessmen.”

The latter factor is, in fact, an essential component of “their survival and a prerequisite for any criminal strategy of wealth accumulation,” Wakeel Zia concludes. It should also be noted that in the first half of 2021, assets worth 129 million 307 thousand euros were confiscated from membership topics and were linked in various ways to mafia groups. In the same period, seizures amounting to 93 million and 771 thousand euros were made. Not quite pennies.

Leave a Comment