Monday, December 6, 2010

Gianni Versace Death Was A Mafia Hit

A new book written by a powerful Mafia godfather claims Gianni Versace, shot dead on the steps of his Miami villa was gunned down by the Mafia over debts.

 Giuseppe Di Bella, a former member of the Calabrian Mafia known as the 'Ndrangheta, says in his book "Metastasis" (Italian for 'a spreading cancer') a hit was ordered on Versace who Di Bella claims was laundering money for the mob. 

He says: ‘There were rivers of money from drugs, extortion, protection rackets, loan sharking, mountains of money and it had to be made clean. Bars, restaurants, property and luxury goods were used but also clean businesses like that of Versace.'

The Ndrangheta clan were lesser known than other Mafia groups but are said to have been extremely powerful and intricately linked with the South American drug cartels and ran operations to launder billions of dollars in drug money. Di Bella says the Versace empire was used by the 'Ndrangheta to launder funds to the tune of $200M a year .

He also claimed the ’Ndrangheta plotted to steal Versace’s ashes on New Year’s Eve in 1997 but it was never carried out.

The Versace family are denying the claims but  the anti-Mafia department in Rome said it had opened a case to investigate the claims.

In his international best-seller Gomorrah, journalist Roberto Saviano who now lives under 24-hour police  protection documented the violence of the Naples and Calabrian ’Ndrangheta, which he said  is considered by many experts to be the wealthiest and most feared of the Italian Mafia.