Italy: Iconic Rome bar 'bought' by Calabrian Mafia

Rome, 26 Nov. (AKI) - A Calabrian Mafia family has bought one of Rome's most famous bars - the Cafe de Paris - immortalised in Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini's movie La Dolce Vita. Italian anti-fraud police told the Italian daily La Repubblica that the Calabrian Mafia or 'Ndrangheta's Alvaro-Palamara di Sinopoli clan purchased the Cafe de Paris for more than six million euros.

The Cafe de Paris' new owners have completely refurbished the establishment, which is situated on Via Veneto, close to the United States embassy. The maitre d', who keeps a watchful eye on customers and staff, has a strong Calabrian accent, according to investigators.

The Cafe de Paris is the latest in a string of restaurants, pizzerias, trattorias, bars and supermarkets acquired by Calabrian crime families in the past two years, especially in Rome's historic centre.

Last month, Italy's anti-Mafia investigators moved to close a top restaurant in Rome's upscale Piazza Spagna, ‘Alla Rampa’ because of its alleged links to the 'Ndrangheta.

The 'Ndrangheta has spent many millions of euros buying these kinds of businesses to launder cash from drugs and arms trafficking - its core business - according to Italian anti-fraud police.

The crime syndicate has also penetrated real estate markets in Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil, La Repubblica said, quoting an anti-fraud police report.


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