'Ndrangheta Murders in Duisburg, Germany

By David Amoruso
Posted on August 17, 2007
Copyright © www.gangstersinc.nl

In the early morning of Wednesday, August 15, six Italian men exited the Da Bruno Italian restaurant in Duisburg, a city in Germany's industrial heartland, the Ruhr, that has been hit by high levels of unemployment. One of the men had just turned 18 and they had celebrated his birthday there. Outside the men were awaited by several other men carrying guns. The gunmen fired more than 70 bullets, and numerous gun cartridges fell to the streets. A woman heard the gun shots and alarmed police, who arrived at the scene at 2:30am. Police found four bodies in a car in front of the Italian restaurant and two others in a van nearby. One man was still alive, but died on the way to the hospital. The victims were aged between 16 to 39. All had gun shot wounds to the head.

Rumors about a Mafia hit were floating around immediately after it became clear the six men were Italian. The Italian Mafias have a strong presence in Germany. Italians are the second biggest immigrant group after Turks. Most of these immigrants come from the poor southern region. The Mafias (Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Camorra from Campania, the ‘Ndrangheta from Calabria, and the Sacra Corona Unita from Puglia) all have their headquarters in the south of Italy. With over 500.000 Italians living in Germany several are bound to be connected to one of the Mafia groups. There has indeed been evidence that scores of mobsters are operating criminal enterprises in several German cities. Several bosses have fled Italy and settled in Germany after they were wanted by police. German police are currently investigating if one of the murdered men, Sebastiano Strangio (39), is the same man as the one arrested in October of 2005 in The Netherlands for running cocaine shipments between The Netherlands and Colombia. That man was also in his late 30s. He was considered a ‘Ndrangheta boss, and was on the run from Italian authorities since 1997. But because the name is common it is not clear if the victim is the same as the arrested boss.

The origin of this hit goes back sixteen years when in 1991 an argument erupted into the throwing of rotten eggs and fire works. Ever since the two involved Ndrangheta Clans (or Ndrine) are fighting a war for honor. But also, more importantly, for control of San Luca, a village in Calabria. The Nirta-Strangio families fought the Vottari-Pelle families. The Duisburg killings are alleged to be the work of the Nirta-Strangio families who ordered the killings as revenge for the killing of Maria Strangio, wife of boss Giovanni Nirta, as well as killing another relative, and injuring his brother and 5 year old grandson. One of the Duisburg victims, Marco Marmo (25, photo on the left) was labeled as one of the killers in that hit. Italian police are helping their German colleagues and have started a strict regime in San Luca. Checkpoints have been set up inside San Luca, as well as on the borders of the village. Police also performed several raids. The more than 4.000 inhabitants have closed the windows and doors to their houses and are hiding in their homes. They are of course keeping their mouths shut.

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