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Società foggiana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Società foggiana
Founding locationFoggia, Italy
Years active1989–present
TerritoryGargano, San Severo, Lucera, Cerignola in Province of Foggia; Presence also in Molise, Abruzzo and in Piedmont.
ActivitiesMurder, cigarette smuggling, arms trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, prostitution, usury, gambling, ecomafia
Balkans criminal organizations

The Società foggiana, also known as Mafia Foggiana (Foggian mafia) and the fifth mafia (in addition to Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the ’Ndrangheta in Calabria, the Camorra in Naples and the Sacra Corona Unita[1] from which the Società foggiana split), is a mafia-type Italian organized criminal organization operating in a large part of the Province of Foggia, including the city of Foggia itself, and having significant infiltrations also in other Italian regions.[2] Currently, it is considered as one of the most brutal and bloody of all the organized crime groups in Italy[3]— there was about one murder a week, one robbery a day and an extortion attempt every 48 hours in Foggia province in 2017 and 2018.[1] These were wrongly reported as the work of the Sacra Corona Unita (the fourth mafia) by news media unaware of the new independent mafia in Foggia province. "But that wasn’t the case. We are witnessing what should be called a fifth mafia, independent of the Sacra Corona Unita" according to Giuseppe Volpe, a prosecutor and anti-mafia head of Bari.[1]


The Società foggiana was founded as an internal division of the Sacra Corona Unita in the late 1980s. However, according to the Deputy Prosecutor Antonio Laronga, the Società foggiana was founded after a meeting between Raffaele Cutolo, at the time leader of the Nuova Camorra Organizzata, and Apulian criminals. The meeting took place in 1979, at Hotel Florio, in the Province of Foggia, at the time Cutolo was waging a bloody war against the historic leaders of the Camorra, such as Michele Zaza, the Nuvoletta brothers, Antonio Bardellino, Carmine Alfieri and Luigi Giuliano. In the meeting, Cutolo and the Apulians reached an agreement, founding the branch of the NCO in Apulia, known as the Nuova Camorra Pugliese, that according to Laronga, would be the true predecessor of the Società foggiana.[4] Despite the uncertainties of the organization's true foundation, the murder of Giuseppe Laviano, lieutenant of the Sacra Corona Unita in Foggia (whose body was never found), in January 1989, mark a turning point in the mafia war and the rise of Rocco Moretti, known as il porco (the pig),[5] in the context of the Foggia organized crime at the expense of Laviano himself. After the murder, Moretti became the head of the new criminal organization known as Società foggiana. Following the arrests made by the police in the Mantide operation, among the many details, macabre revelations also emerged, such as the photo of Laviano's severed head, shown to the main members of the Società Foggiana during the summits.[6]

The relations between the Foggia delinquency and the Camorra are probably the oldest and deepest ones. The Foggia delinquency has managed to make the qualitative leap thanks to the Camorra, particularly the Nuova Camorra Organizzata; during the NCO period many "Cutoliani" spent periods of imprisonment in the prisons of San Severo and Foggia, making contacts with and recruiting local criminals. Raffaele Cutolo's sister, Rosetta Cutolo, lived in San Severo in an obliged stay.[7] Cutolo even organized a sort of offshoot of the NCO in northern Apulia, the Nuova Camorra Pugliese; the killing of Don Peppe Sciorio, Lieutenant of Cutolo for Foggia, was another clear sign that the Foggia criminals wanted to become independent.[8]

In 2013, the journalist Roberto Saviano said: "The Società foggiana is the most ignored mafia group by the media, but its very powerful and brutal."[9]

According to the investigations, Società foggiana's members from San Severo, in the province of Foggia, are active in the drugs market with the support of eastern European criminals, in particular with the Albanians.[10]

Società foggiana's clans

The most powerful clans inside the Società Foggiana are:

  • Trisciuoglio clan
  • Sinesi-Francavilla clan
  • Moretti-Pellegrino-Lanza clan[11]

Top members

Among its most important members are:

  • Rocco Moretti[12]
  • Federico Trisciuoglio[13]
  • Roberto Sinesi[12]
  • Emiliano Francavilla[14]
  • Vito Bruno Lanza[15]
  • Salvatore Prencipe[16]
  • Michele Mansueto[17]

More gangs

In addition to the extortion and drug-dealing Società foggiana proper, other distinct gangs can be identified: the armoured car heisting and cocaine smuggling Cerignola clan, and another group active around the Gargano, on the spur on the back of Italy's "boot", which smuggles marijuana from the Balkans.[1]

Police operations

In September 2019, the Italian police dismantled an international drug trafficking alliance between the powerful Gionta clan of the Camorra, the Società Foggiana, and Moroccan drug traffickers. The investigation started in 2016 against a Maghreb gang based in the region of Trentino-Alto Adige. The vast network of drug traffickers, extended from Morocco, passing through Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands to finally arrive in Trentino and in Bolzano. Arriving in Italy, the drugs were sold in parks, historic centers and near schools by mainly Tunisian and Moroccan pushers. Nineteen people were arrested, with four still being wanted in Italy, Spain and in the Netherlands at the time, and seventy-three under investigation. Over one ton of hashish and 2 kg of cocaine were seized.[18][19]

In January 2020 two bomb attempts were made in Foggia to murder a key witness in a major trial against mobsters; nobody was injured. The anti-mafia task force was reinforced after the attacks, and 20,000 people marched through Foggia in a protest organised by the anti-mafia group Libera.[20]

Activities in 2020

There was a wave of car bombs and arson attacks against non-payers of "protection" in 2020; this has been interpreted as an indication that the new groups were in a cash crisis, and needed to frighten people into paying. There was evidence following the lockdown during the severe 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Italy of the mafia, including the Puglia gangs, using their cash to purchase businesses that failed during the lockdown.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Lorenzo Tondo (19 May 2020). "Puglia crimewave points to emergence of 'fifth' Italian mafia". The Guardian.
  2. ^ "La Mafia di Foggia è la "nuova Gomorra"". Panorama (in Italian). 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  3. ^ Civillini, Matteo (2016-03-21). "Come la Società Foggiana è diventata la mafia più brutale e sanguinosa d'Italia". Vice (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  4. ^ "VIDEO | La mafia foggiana: dal vertice di Cutolo all'hotel 'Florio' al clan Agnelli-Carella". FoggiaToday (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  5. ^ "Fermato un pezzo da novanta della mafia foggiana: ecco chi è Rocco Moretti". (in Italian). October 10, 2017.
  6. ^ "Colpo alla mafia foggiana 'Decapitavano i nemici'". la Repubblica (in Italian). July 9, 2005.
  7. ^ "L'inchiesta, Il tribunale della Quarta mafia ha ordinato la strage. Ed ha un esercito di mille soldati". (in Italian). August 9, 2017.
  8. ^ "Giosuè Rizzi, la strage del circolo Bacardi e la "Società" foggiana"". (in Italian). January 12, 2012.
  9. ^ "Società Foggiana, Saviano: "Mafia più ignorata dai media, potentissima ed efferata"". FoggiaToday (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  10. ^ "Il ruolo della 'Società Foggiana' su San Severo, dove è guerra aperta tra clan per la conquista del business della droga". FoggiaToday (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  11. ^ Ondaradio, Redazione. "I tre clan in guerra ma con il direttorio. Per il controllo di cassa comune e lista estorsioni. La nuova relazione dell'antimafia (4) - Rete Gargano". (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  12. ^ a b "Carcere duro per Moretti e Sinesi: 4 anni di "isolamento", posta vietata e colloqui ridotti all'osso". FoggiaToday (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  13. ^ "Arrestato boss della Società, Trisciuoglio: era l'ultimo capo clan ancora libero. In manette anche il figlio". l'Immediato (in Italian). 2017-12-16. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  14. ^ "Mafia, Società foggiana, maxi sequestro a boss Francavilla". AgoraVox Italia (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  15. ^ "Mafia, il figlio del boss Lanza nella banda dei bancomat. L'egemonia (anche in Molise) del clan Moretti". l'Immediato (in Italian). 2019-02-16. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  16. ^ ""Società foggiana": torna in libertà il boss Salvatore Prencipe". Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  17. ^ Trapanese, Luciano (2019-12-15). "Società foggiana: omicidi, riti e boss della quarta mafia". The wam (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  18. ^ "Operazione 'Carthago' della Finanza di Trento: scovati 73 trafficanti e 1 tonnellata di hashish, spacciavano vicino alle scuole – LaVocedelNordEst" (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  19. ^ "Spaccio internazionale di droga: accordo tra mafia foggiana e Gionta: operazione a Trento". (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  20. ^ AFP (2020-01-16). "Italy to strengthen anti-mafia task force after bomb in Foggia". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
This page was last edited on 22 July 2020, at 03:08
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