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Florence suffocated between organized crime and gangs



Drug dealing, money laundering and predatory crime: a crime alert has been raised in Florence. The tourist boom also brings trouble, and the mafia is buying Florence The city is hostage to criminal gangs and dirty capital launderers, which invest in local profitable activities.

Some data: in 2023, Florence hosted more than 4.6 million visitors (+6.9 percent compared to 2022). Among them, 1.2 million were Italians (+2.8 percent compared to 2022), and 3.4 million were foreigners (+12 percent). Important numbers for a business worth more than 2.5 billion euros, of which catering alone contributes more than a billion euros (+12 percent).

All this has given the Tuscan capital a commendable 10 percent growth over last year. Yet it is precisely these numbers that are tempting to criminals, first and foremost organized crime, which invests here by laundering. Tuscany, because of the importance and size of its economic apparatus, constitutes ideal terrain for the reinvestment of large sums of money of illicit origin, as argued as early as 2022 by the then attorney general at the Florence Court of Appeal, Marcello Viola

What we are seeing is that in the Florentine market, there are growing groups and commercial chains of dubious origin that, especially in food understood in all its expressions, impose themselves with banal and standardized offers that have nothing to do with tradition. What is behind such activities?

There are foreign investors with constant expansions who buy a place every year on a continuous and regular basis. The trade organizations themselves notice these anomalies.

Honest entrepreneurs also have to struggle with petty crime, which is soaring. According to the Crime Index 2023, based on data from the Ministry of the Interior, Florence is the fifth-largest city in Italy for crime. According to the district chief of police, Maurizio Auriemma, which was unveiled on January 5, there has been a rise in crime of 11%, with robberies rising by 56% and street thefts rising by 24% from 2022.

So in an Italy where crime is generally contained, Florence stands out for a complex situation where small underworlds and large organized crime want to take advantage of intense and poorly regulated traffic flows. The victims are honest merchants and tourists who should not concentrate in the city of Medici but distribute themselves throughout Italy, which is all to be seen.

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