Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta organised crime syndicate made more money last year than McDonald’s and Deutsch Bank according to a new study from L’istituto Demoskopika.

The Rome-based organisation found that the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta or Calabrese mafia turned over around €53 billion (£44.1 billion), the equivalent to around 2.5% of Italy’s GDP, through its illegal activities which include drug dealing, illegal rubbish disposal, extortion, embezzlement, gambling, arms sales, prostitution, counterfeiting goods, and people-smuggling, according to the Guardian.

The scale of the profits controlled by the close-nit group of around 400 key individuals, make the syndicate bigger than global corporations such as McDonald’s, Deutsch Bank, Barclays, or Sainsbury’s. This scale has made the group a long-standing target of law enforcement, yet it has been near impossible to penetrate, with the US seeing the area of southern Italy controlled by the ‘Ndrangheta as a “failed state” according to Wikileaks cables published in 2011.

The news of the organisation’s record-breaking profits comes in the days following Pope Francis calling on such groups to come clean and give up their “blood-soaked money”.

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