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Italy moves to root mafia out of agriculture, food sectors

Published on Mar 19, 2014 9:21 PM

ROME (AFP) - Italy's leading agriculture industry association on Wednesday launched a drive to root out mafia infiltration which is costing the sector billions of euros.

"The agriculture and food sectors have become priority investment areas for organised crime groups," said Roberto Moncalvo, head of the Coldiretti association.

He called it "a strategic move in times of crisis because they have understood that, as bad as it gets, nobody can do without food." Coldiretti estimates mafia groups took in around 14 billion euros (S$25 billion) last year from agricultural rackets, an increase of 12 per cent from 2012.

According to the anti-mafia unit in Rome, around 15 per cent of turnover in the agriculture sector is linked to criminal activities.

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