Maxi-trial opens for Italy’s other mob group, ‘ndrangheta

LAMEZIA TERME, Italy (AP) — A maxi-trial has opened in southern Italy against the ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate, arguably the world’s richest criminal organization that quietly amassed power in Italy as the Sicilian Mafia lost its influence. Prosecutors are hoping the trial will be a decisive blow for the ’ndrangheta, the Calabrian-based mob organization that has exploited tens of billions of dollars in cocaine revenues to extend its criminal reach across Europe and into several continents. The hearing against more than 300 defendants is opening in a specially constructed bunker on the sprawling grounds of an industrial park in Calabria, the “toe” of the Italian peninsula. The trial is expected to last a year and the prosecution hopes to call some 900 witnesses.