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“Anyone who is deaf, blind and dumb will live a hundred years in peace.” So reads the proverb in the book penned by the Sicilian ethnographer Giuseppe Pitrè. Conjuring the fundamental principle of omertà (code of silence), this proverb highlights the historical importance of remaining...

The bunker-courthouse used in the Maxi Trial, which led to the conviction of 360 mafiosi. Central to Judge Giovanni Falcone's pursuit of the mafia was the principle of 'follow the money'. Courtesy of Wikimedia

Money is power. People will assume that this statement is so obvious it no longer needs repeating. Yet many law enforcement agencies do not seem to have got the message. Money is the crucial element that links organised crime with corrupt officials within governments, financial institutions and...

It’s an ordinary summer day in Australia, with families gathering for barbeques, kids playing in the streets and couples frolicking in the surf. It is 1967, and a man drives to a house in a suburban street. His brother and sister-in-law are inside. He knocks on the door, walks in, pulls out a...

Robert Putnam’s Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, published in the early 1990s, is one of the most influential books in comparative politics. The book sought to investigate what factors contribute to good...

In 2009, a few scrap pieces of paper were found in a cupboard during an arrest of a camorrista – a member of the Neapolitan Camorra – in the town of Ercolano, close to Naples. This scrap paper...

Modern slavery is often linked to organised crime. We assume the problem is driven by criminal gangs that make huge profits from trafficking and exploiting vulnerable children, women and men into forced labour, sexual exploitation or other activities that violate their basic human rights and...

On the 4th of February 1991, Mario Tamburrino was unloading barrels from his truck when a life-changing accident occurred: the truck driver was...