(Quartz) Italy’s ambitious organized crime syndicates are still killing people and trafficking drugs and weapons, but their latest bet is eco-friendly businesses.
The cash-heavy groups are tapping into corporate cost-cutting in Europe’s crisis-torn economy, including the often exorbitant expenses required to properly dispose of waste, according to a recent report by European law enforcement agency Europol. The Italian mafia is famous for its forays into waste management, but thanks to shrinking budgets and tightening environmental regulations in Europe, illegal dumping and waste trafficking are booming under the guise of eco-friendly trash disposal. They’re high-return low-risk endeavors that are rarely prosecuted, Europol says.
The Italian mafia is exploiting other green markets, too.