[JURIST] European laws need to be strengthened in order to more effectively fight organized crime throughout Europe, Italian prosecutor Nicola Gratteri said Monday. Gratteri is investigating the August slayings of six Italians in Duisburg, Germany [BBC report], widely believed to be the result of a decades-old feud involving the Italian 'ndrangheta [BBC backgrounder] mob. Gratteri noted that 'ndrangheta has spread throughout Europe, becoming the biggest cocaine dealer in Europe, and that Europe needs to now consider 'ndgrangheta and other mob organizations a European-wide issue, rather than just an Italian issue. Prosecutors estimate that organized crime operations in Italy and throughout Europe are worth $50 billion, including loan-sharking, extortion and arms trafficking. 'Ndrangheta allegedly launders the money through businesses it purchased throughout Europe in the 1990s.
Gratteri added that Italy is better equipped to handle organized crime investigations than many European countries because Italy has such flexible wire-tapping laws and makes it a crime to simply associate with a mob organization. Other European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Spain require a higher standard to be guilty of a mob-related crime. AP has more.