The ‘Ndrangheta in Australia

May 4, 2020

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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4 comments on “The ‘Ndrangheta in Australia

  1. Evan Helmuth May 9, 2020

    Great episode, as usual. Love the show, Gary. Minor correction though: Colombia has a lot of Pacific coastline, so they would have probably just shipped the coke out of Buenaventura.

    • Gary Jenkins May 9, 2020

      Evan, Thank you for your comment and you are right I am geographically challenged in regards to Columbia stretching all the way to the Pacific.

  2. The very same family were later implicated in the importation of 500kg of MDMA. At the time this was the largest importation in the world, ever. They are alive and well in Australia. Listen to Andrew Rules podcast ‘Blood on the Vines; for more information,

  3. Daniel Bashford Jan 14, 2021

    More on organised crime on Australia

    Drugs are flooding in.

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