History of the ‘Ndrangheta
In this episode, Gary and Cam examine the history of organized crime in Australia as a big shout out to Sydney fan Dan Bashford. They examine how the ‘Ndrangheta became the largest and most powerful criminal organization in Australia. The ‘Ndrangheta organization originated from the state of Calabria in Italy. After WW II, many criminal members took part in the large immigration from post-war decimated Italy to the vast empty agricultural land in Australia. Once these criminals arrived with millions of other immigrants, they established seven ‘Ndrangheta families to mimic their homeland groups.
The ‘Ndrangheta move into narcotics
The ‘Ndrangheta members started buying up land and grew produce and soon moved into the most powerful and successful growers and wholesalers of produce in the early 1950s. They eventually controlled all the major wholesale produce markets. In these large tracts of land, they used legitimate crops as cover to grow marijuana between the rows of fruit trees and other citrus crops. The crime families will move into cocaine from South America and Heroin from Southeast Asia as their influence expands. They constantly adapt and move into whatever drug is lucrative as shown by a 2013 bust where Australian police interrupted and seized 15 million ecstasy pills hidden in 3000 tins of tomato paste as it was arriving from Naples, Italy. They arrested a descendant of one of the original crime families named Pasquale Barbaro as the leader of this narcotics ring.
Following is the documentary made by the ABC Four-Corners investigative TV series
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