Commisso 'ndrina

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Commisso 'ndrina
Founding location Marina di Gioiosa Ionica, Calabria, Italy
Territory Siderno and Locride; Greater Toronto in Canada
Ethnicity Calabrese
Criminal activities Racketeering, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion
Allies Piromalli and Pesce 'ndrine
Rivals Various 'ndrine, Rizzuto crime family

The Commisso 'ndrina is a powerful clan of the 'Ndrangheta, a criminal and mafia-type organisation in Calabria, Italy. The 'ndrina is based in Siderno, but has an important branch of the Siderno Group in the Greater Toronto Area in Canada.

In Siderno

Siderno was the fiefdom of Antonio Macrì the undisputed boss at the time. In January 1975, Macrì was killed in the so-called First 'Ndrangheta war. His right-hand man – who was wounded in the attack on Macrì – Francesco Commisso was intended to be his successor. However, he appointed his son, Cosimo Commisso, also known as "the quail" ("'u quagghia"), as the boss of the locale of Siderno.[1] Giuseppe Commisso (u mastru) is also an influential figure in Siderno.[2]

In the 1980s, the Commisso were challenged by the Costa 'ndrina over the command of Siderno.[1] The Costas had returned from Toronto. By 1991, the feud – that spilled over to Toronto as well – ended in a victory for the Commisso clan. Officially, there were 28 dead among the Costas and eight among the Commissos. Cosimo Commisso was sentenced over the vendetta and his cousin Antonio Commisso succeeded him as the acting boss of the clan.[1]

The Commissos are one of the 'Ndrangheta's biggest and most important clans, involved in the global cocaine business and money laundering.[3] They were members of La Provincia, a provincial commission of the 'Ndrangheta formed at the end of the Second 'Ndrangheta war in September 1991, to avoid further internal conflicts.[4]

In Canada

By the end of the 1970s, the Commissos had put together a criminal enterprise that "rivalled the best of the Sicilian Mafia structures existing in the United States and which was, in terms of pure muscle and audacity, one of the most powerful mafia groups in Canada."[5] They "controlled a criminal organization that imported and distributed heroin with the Vancouver mob and the Calabrian Mafia in Italy, fenced stolen goods across North America, printed and distributed counterfeit money throughout Canada and the United States, ran a vast exortion network in Ontario, arranged insurance and land frauds in the Toronto area, and engaged in contract killings and contract-enforcement work across Canada and the United States – the whole gamut of violent criminal activities one usually associates with the Mafia."[5]

In the 1980s the Buffalo crime family also operated in Toronto and Hamitlon, and hired Satan's Choice MC hitman Cecil Kirby to kill Pietro Scarcella and Paul Volpe in an arrangement with Remo and Cosimo Commisso to gain more control of the market. However, the plot was foiled when Kirby turned Royal Canadian Mounted Police informant.[6]

Canada is a safe haven for fugitives from Italy who have allies on the other side of the Atlantic. One of them, Antonio Commisso, was arrested on June 28, 2005 in Woodbridge, Ontario.[7][8] According to the Siderno police force, "the criminal minds of Siderno are in Canada."[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c Back to the 'wolves', National Post, July 30, 2005
  2. ^ "Commisso " u mastru" non andava arrestato". 
  3. ^ (in Italian) Gratteri & Nicaso, Fratelli di Sangue, p. 133
  4. ^ (in Italian) Sentenza procedimento penale Olimpia Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Tribunale di Reggio Calabria, January 19, 1999
  5. ^ a b Schneider, Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada, p. 327
  6. ^ "Mob war led to Russo shooting, sources say". theglobeandmail.com. 16 April 2005. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Repubblica.it  » cronaca  » Preso a Toronto Antonio Commisso boss della 'ndrangheta di Siderno". www.repubblica.it. 
  8. ^ (in Italian) Latitante Commisso arrestato da Polizia in Canada[permanent dead link], ANSA, June 28, 2005
  9. ^ Why Italy's scariest Mob loves Canada, National Post, November 24, 2007
  • (in Italian) Gratteri, Nicola & Antonio Nicaso (2006). Fratelli di Sangue, Cosenza: Luigi Pellegrini Editore ISBN 88-8101-373-8
  • Schneider, Stephen (2009). Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada, Mississauga (Ontario): John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 0-470-83500-1
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