The mafia in Sicily is allegedly making millions as a result of the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe.
Time Magazine alleges that police and prosecutors have revealed organised crime bosses are embezzling funds meant for the welfare of migrants, and exploiting many refugees as prostitutes and drug dealers.
Willy, a 29-year-old Nigerian, told the magazine how he has been accepted by mob bosses so long as they benefit financially.
When I arrived in Palermo, in this neighbourhood only, Italians were authorised to push. Now they’ve also granted us Nigerians permission to sell. It’s worth it for the Sicilians: our money still ends up in the pockets of the mafia boss.
Vice visited Europe’s largest migrant reception centre, highlighting why many of those seeking asylum turn to a life of crime rather than stay in the official system.
Time have reported Carmelo Zuccaro, chief prosecutor in Catania, as accusing mafia bosses of infiltrating migrant camps by ensuring essential service contracts are won by mafia-run businesses.
In turn, the goods and services they provide are far cheaper than those commercial companies would offer, but the mafia then pockets the difference and makes a healthy profit.
They also report that police documents show the criminal organisations are in business with people smugglers, ensuring the continued arrival of migrants on Sicilian shores from North Africa.
The documents allegedly say:
The mafia has forged links with some North African smugglers and arranged the delivery of boatloads of refugees from the Egyptian beaches of Gammasse and Jamsa to Europe, offering shelter, food and transport to north Europe in exchange for vast sums of money which refugees paid out to Egyptian people smugglers.
The plight of European-based migrants certainly seems to be getting worse before it gets better…