By ALESSIA CANDITO
An operation by the “Direzione distrettuale antimafia” (DDA, or “Direct Anti-Mafia Directorate”) conducted by the Carabinieri against two gangs from Rosarno (Reggio Calabria). There were several accusations, including international drugs trafficking: they found large consignments of cocaine from South America and hashish from Spain and Morocco, destined for the North Italian market. Among the arrested was the well known criminologist Angela Tibullo.
Reggio Calabria. In the morning of Thursday, August the 2nd, an operation by carabinieri of the “Direzione distrettuale antimafia” (DDA, or “Direct Anti-Mafia Directorate”) was conducted against two gangs, ‘Cacciola’ and ‘Cacciola -Grasso’, from the municipality Rosarno in Reggio Calabria. The Carabinieri arrested 45 people who face several charges, including attempted homicide, extortion, and possession of weapons. They are also accused of trafficking drugs internationally, importing cocaine from South America and hashish from Spain and Marocco. These drugs were sold in Northern Italy – particularly in the regions Lombardy and Piedmont, as well as Sicily. Four women were arrested, including the well known Italian criminologist Angela Tibullo (36).
Tibullo is accused of dispatching the bosses’ messages to gang members outside and inside of prison. Passing on the bosses’ messages is the “traditional” task of the women of the gang when their husband or a male relative is in jail. In addition, all four arrested women were accused of maintaining and moving the gang’s weapons, and of laundering the proceeds of the drug trade. Tibullo may not have had a family bond with either of the gangs, but she was ambitious and thirsty for money. She is now facing charges of association with the mafia (which is a crime in Italy), corruption in judicial acts and obstruction of justice. She wanted to become the “regina della penitenziaria”, or “Queen of the penitentiary”. She assisted several clients of several gangs, including the very powerful Boss Teodoro (Toro) Crea of the Crea di Rizziconi gang.
To assist Teodoro Crea, Tibullo tried to convince a medical expert appointed by the Court to draw up a suitable report of him. The medical expert, however, would not accept her bribes. This led Tibullo to threaten him, talking about her medical friend whose career had suffered because he had been unwilling to accept bribes. The medical expert immediately told the magistrates about Tibullo’s offers and threats. They started an investigation on Tibullo, discovering the “criminal system” she had created, allowing prisoners to transform the prisoners’ rights guaranteed by the Constitution, to undue benefits. As Tibullo was a well known name in the world of justice, she had easy access to information about a prisoners’ medial health, as well as information to verify that the messages she had communicated had arrived. She asked the prisoners a lot of money for her services.
Tibullo told the bosses what medics to nominate for their medical assessments, trying to help them to get out of prison. She was fully aware of her clients’ criminal calibre. To confirm this, there are hours and hours of taped phone calls in which Tibullo is never hesitant to remind the client’s gang how precious her client’s work was. Some of those phone calls were played in court, where the judge found Tibullo guilty of offering “a concrete, specific, conscious and voluntary contribution” to the ‘ndrangheta (i.e., the Calabrian mafia).
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