A crime cell from the Calabrian Mafia also known as the Ndrangheta was uncovered operating in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Giuseppe Bruzzese was caught by a surveillance device located in a business owned by the Commisso Clan in Siderno, Calabria speaking with a top boss from the Ndrangheta about a dispute between two different Canadian based Ndrangheta groups. The surveillance was part of an ongoing investigation by Italian authorities called “Project Crimine“. The investigation has shown that the Calabrian Mafia has continued to spread and gain power in Canada. The Ndrangheta have been established in the Toronto area for years but have now begun to grow in numbers and strength to a point where they can challenge the Sicilian Mafia in Canada for control of drug routes and territory.
Bruzzese was charged with alleged mafia association with the Calabrian Mafia and is now on trial in Canada. Chief anti-Mafia prosecutor in Calabria Nicola Gratteri says that investigations show that outside of Italy the Ndrangheta’s biggest presence is in Canada. Gratteri says that they believe at least nine Ndrangheta groups are operating in Toronto alone and there are other groups in both Ontario and Montreal. This means that the Calabrian Mafia has hundreds of members doing business throughout Canada with each group containing at least 50 plus members. The Ndrangheta has approximately 160 cells operating in Italy which consist of over 6,000 members. Strong ties between the groups in Italy and the groups in Canada have helped the Ndrangheta to continue to build a drug distribution network worth billions.
Many believe the Ndrangheta is responsible for backing a break away faction from the Rizzuto crime family in Montreal part of the Sicilian Mafia in an attempt to take control of the Montreal drug rackets. This rogue faction launched an attack on the Rizzuto family which has resulted in a mafia war and over a dozen murders over the last couple of years. But the release of Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto has lead to the Rizzuto family striking back against its enemies and Vito seemingly taking back control at least to an extent on Montreal.