AN ITALIAN man, believed to have links to the Italian mafia, murdered last week, by three hooded gunmen in Aguilas, was not living here by chance.
Franco Roberti, chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Mafia (DNA) of Italy, in an interview with the El País newspaper, issued a stark warning that the criminal organisation to which the murdered man allegedly belonged is very well established in Spain.
“A character like Giuseppe Nirta was not here by chance, definitely not, he was here cultivating his interests” suggested the prosecutor.
Details of the fatality surfaced at around 10.00pm on Sunday two weeks ago, when police were called to a house in the remote neighbourhood of El Charcon, near to Aguilas.
The emergency call was made by the partner of Guiseppi Nirta, a 52-year-old, Italian who according to media reports in his home country, had a history of drug trafficking.
On arriving at the premises, police discovered the body of Nirta, on the ground, with at least seven bullet wounds, including one to the head, as if to “Finish him off!”, said an unconfirmed police report.
Italian media reports suggested that Giuseppe Nirta had a history of drug trafficking and was involved in the so-called ‘Operation Minotaur’, related to the ‘Ndrangheta’ gang.
Roberti believes that the presence of Nirta on the coast of Murcia was far from casual and, on the contrary would be dedicated to expanding internationally the influence of the Ndrangheta gang , the “most dangerous and richest” criminal organization in Italy.
“With lucrative business in the world of drug and human trafficking, extortion and contract killings, the wealth of the Ndrangheta is incalculable,” said Roberti, adding that, “They would be in the region of tens of billions of euros a year, which then they are obliged to reinvest.”
He explained that Spain is a strategic territory for the ‘Ndrangheta’ and the rest of the criminal organisations originating in Italy, because it’s location acts as a bridge between the American and African continents and Europe.
“Spain is an almost obligatory place as a passage for cocaine and hashish”, he said, “with great possibilities for money laundering.”
“It’s a place to colonise,” he summed up, and Giuseppe Nirta would have been acting as a settler.
He believed the murder was “a struggle between two gangs to control the territory and business of the Ndrangheta.”
The deceased was also thought to be related to Giuseppe Nirta, one of the capos of the Calabrian mafia, and according to Italian media sources, Head of the ‘Ndrangheta clan and one of the most wanted criminals in Italy, until his arrest in 2008.
A BBC report at the time of his arrest, suggested in 2008, the ‘Ndrangheta made nearly $70bn (45bn euros) a year, the equivalent of 3% of Italy’s gross national product, from its criminal activities, which include extortion rackets, people smuggling and money laundering.