Italy in Shock as First Casalesi Camorra Boss Flips

Antonio Iovine, first boss of the Casalesi clan to flip.
A Camorra boss of the powerful Casalesi clan is collaborating with investigators in Naples, according to published reports.

Antonio Iovine, known as o'ninno or "the baby" due to his youthful face and swift climb up the ladder -- he is one of four bosses of the Casalesi clan -- all of which have been jailed for life following a major trial in 2008, began working with anti-Mafia prosecutors earlier this month.

Iovine, 49, reportedly led the business side of the clan's activities.

The Casalesi is the clan our roving correspondent Charles DeLucca has been reporting on for this blog.

He once wrote here: "Our first boss was Antonio Bardellino, [John] Gotti´s friend. The clan is named after the town of Casale di Principe. Don Antonio Bardellino formed the clan in the early 80s. When Gotti Sr. was boss, our clan was shipping drugs from Naples to NYC."

"Until now, none of the core leadership of the Casalesi has ever turned state witness," John Dickie, professor of Italian studies at University College London and the author of several books on the mafia, told media. "It will be interesting to see if this is the start of the fissuring of this leadership group."

Roberto Saviano, a journalist whose bestselling book Gomorrah earned him repeated death threats from the Casalesi, noted further: "This is news that risks changing for good what we know to be true about business and organised crime not only in Campania [and] not only in Italy."

"He [Iovine] is someone who knows everything. And so now everything could change. The earth is trembling for a large part of the business and political worlds – and for entire branches of institutions.

"The companies, big and small, which … were born and prospered thanks to the flow of cash from Antonio Iovine feel as if they're in a room whose walls are increasingly closing in."

Saviano, who lives under police protection, grew up in Casal di Principe – home of the Casalesi – and took particular aim at the clan's activities in his book, which became an award-winning film.

Saviano predicted that his decision to talk could serve up the dirt behind 40 years of of politics in Italy, including regarding Nicola Cosentino, a major ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Iovine was sentenced to life in absentia, following the so-called Spartacus maxi-trial in 2008. He also got another 21 years and six months added on at the end of a trial this year.

None of the other Casalesi bosses in prison – Francesco Schiavone (AKA Sandokan), Francesco Bidognetti or Michele Zagaria – have collaborated.

Interior minister Angelino Alfano told Sky TG24 television on Thursday: "Sincere repentances have helped the fight against the Cosa Nostra and the [Calabrian] 'Ndrangheta … If the same thing happens with the Camorra it could open interesting scenarios and could even lead us to its defeat."

Comments

  1. Can someone please tell me what benefits these Italian Mafia rats get by turning snitch in Italy? I mean, they don't get a reduction in their sentence like here in the states. What are their motives?

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    1. Italians have an interesting term for what we call "rats," calling them "pentito" -- those who repent (for the sins of the Mafia). I think religious connotations play a far larger role in the dynamic than here. The heart of the Roman Catholic church beats in Italy. They do it to ostensibly to save their souls.

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    2. For one thing, they get taken out of harsh isolation (which they'd be in for life), known as 41-bis. Under article 41-b, you only get 1 hour a day out of your cell, one hour a month for a visitor (behind glass), one hour month to meet with your lawyer. It's tough and it's for life. Conditions are much better for mafiosi in regular lock up. Has nothing to do with religious reasons.

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  2. Times are changing and even the hardcore italian mafioso are not gonna do life any more for this thing of ours those days are in the rear view mirror

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    1. I love how all these Italians Mafiosi smile when they are arrested! It's hilarious! They think it's all a joke, and usually for them it was all a joke, a farce. I honestly Italian law enforcement has turned a corner.

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    2. Anonymous the point is that in Italy informants still do life. They don't get a reduction in their sentence. So what you said doesn't apply here.

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    3. Ok didnt know that which makes it even more amazing he did it knowing a crooked italian police guy can set him up he wants to save his soul which he sold to the devil call it what u will at least he might be at peace after this the law might rethink there rules to make people come forward its a start.

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    4. My comment was posted before i seen urs but ur point was made as is mine u read when ed apprives them

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    5. Anonymous, Italy is not like America where an important informant like Antonio Iovine can flip and have absolutely nothing to worry about and walk around like nothing ever happened like Henry Hill. Mark my word, SOMEBODY WILL DIE OVER THIS! And honestly, pentitos have nothing to gain by choosing to help a state that is every bit as evil as them. The state don't care about justice, they just see the Mafia as competition and want them out of the way. It's a crime for the Mafia to extort people yet it's okay for the state to collect taxes? Sounds like a bunch of hypocrisy to me.

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    6. The law should paralle/equal justice. Which often it does not.

      But to join the mob, just because the state is also corrupt is a very bad excuse.

      The right way in my opinion, is to act from motives that are of just intention and a good heart and try to find your way in life DESPITE all these lousy parasites around you.
      Try not to equal or be better than assholes. There's no profit in that.

      And to think that you can kill 3/4 of your life and then say , "Oh I'm, sorry now that I did all that, but now I turn myself over, so now all is good" is a fairytale to believe that . spirituality doesn't work like that. You have to work at least as hard at doing good for a long long time as you were doing those damn evil deeds. You cannot undo all those killings. To stick to you. But you can do a lot of good when still being alive. But when serving in prison... Options are narrowed down a bit..

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  3. Carlo ´Charles´ De LuccaMay 23, 2014, 6:34:00 PM

    La decisione di 'o ninno, di collaborare con la giustizia e' come se il ministro dell'economia della camorra decidesse di pentirsi............. Lots of people are really worry right now I can assure you.

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  4. There's definitely going to be repercussions. People are going to be killed over this, I can assure you.

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    Replies
    1. U know that when u sign up nothing like a little spring cleaning

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  5. Doesn't the Mafia and the State work together to co-manage crime anyway? The Mafia and the State have always colluded, so I don't really see the difference here when they turn State's evidence. They're all in bed together anyway.

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  6. Well been busy last couple of days Sons of Italy had its annual Golf outing turn out was great got to see alot of old faces. A lot of retired old cops and old crooks mingling breaking balls some of us related through marrriage and cousins uncles some still in the bussiness both sides so they put there best foot forward its for a good cause raising money for charity have a great weekend dont drink to much Caio

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  7. First, usually, it does start with the family. Inmediate family. If they are taken to custody, you go to direct family and so on. So, nephews, cousins, second counsins....anything that has the name Iovine will ´go´, that´s for sure. For us, family is not outside this way of life.

    And the way it will happen will be symbolic.

    It happen during one of the faida, 2 pentiti sono mortì strangolato and then burned inside a car. Left there so everybody take lesson.

    Second, guys close to O'ninno specially those who were close to the garbage and political stuff will go. They are weak ´links´. There´s gonna be a pile of bodies because nobody wants more pentiti.

    By the way, What´s this thing of Sons of Italy?

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    Replies
    1. Once you get a taste of the old country makes you real happy to be a american .

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    2. The Order Sons of Italy in America is the largest and oldest Italian-American Fraternal organization in the United States. As an Italian American organization its current missions include encouraging the study of Italian language and culture in American schools and universities, preserving Italian American traditions, culture, history and heritage, and promoting closer cultural relations between the United States and Italy.

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    3. Well put Funzi that is correct

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    4. If only they get rid of this mafia mentality.

      It's no good, and a cancer in society.
      The fact that a government isn't as straight as it should be, is no excuse for people to join even worse groups, like the mob is.
      Killing and drugs as a way of life.
      That's as worse as one can make for a living.

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  8. Its a national orginazation located in america called OSIA and has many fraternitys located in many States citys and towns across America N. J and NY have several. If ur more interested check the web site.

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  9. Funzi, JB.... Thanks for the answer.

    Is interesting. I consider my self first napoletano than italiano. I guess in America, since the culture é diferente, no matter if your backround is ´terroni or polentone´, is about staying Italian in America. Am I right?

    JB, about the ´taste of the old country´, is always like that. Zips and Italian American guys did not like each other at some point. In Montreal is the same shit at some point. Most of the Rizzutto´s are Canadian born (some Zips if you want to call it like that, including some paesanos from Napoli) and, the rebel Calabrians. There are of course diferences on how to do things. Guys in America and Canada pay a lot of attention if the violence is going to make the news or get to noisy. I mean, Montreal makes those news every week but no civilians are killed (most of the time). But in the old country, that´s not important. Is good to have publicity.

    Most of the dicussion I have heard around is about why in Italy ´babies, kids and women are killed if required. ´ In America, that´s not even a question.

    I guess it has to do with the size and power of the justice toward certain crimes.

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    Replies
    1. Staying Italian in America, you hit the nail on the head.

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    2. Thanks for that info carlo
      Until i started reading eddie blog i never realized how big the mob in montreal was them boys are serious up there

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    3. Ed not to change the subject
      Did the scarfo trial start again or are they still going back and forth over some stipulation with the judge.

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