One of the world’s leading experts in the Mafia, Roberto Saviano, has claimed that Capitalism relies on vast global criminal networks to thrive. They are actually part of the same system, the legal and the illegal worlds are increasingly merging.
Saviano made these revelations in his new book Zero, Zero, Zero which has lifted the lid on the cocaine trade and world capitalism. The title refers the purest cocaine available on the market.
The Italian writer has lived in hiding for ten years since he released his book Gomorrah, which exposed the Camorra, the Neapolitan crime syndicate. He even dedicates his book to his bodyguards and the “fifty-nine thousand hours we’ve spent together and to those still ahead. Wherever they may be.” The book has now become a critically acclaimed film and TV series of the same name.
In his new work his ‘obsession’ with narco-capitalism has led him to investigate the business structures of the cartels that feeds the world’s cocaine addiction, and the economic system that supports it. He writes in the book: “To succeed in narco-traffic you apply the rules to break the law. And today, any big corporation can only succeed if it adopts the same principle, its rules demand that it breaks the law.”
Saviano’s theories already carry some weight, criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia bank for laundering huge sums of money for Mexican drug sales.The case never came to court.
In March 2010, the bank settled the biggest action brought under the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. Wachovia paid federal authorities $110 million for allowing transaction connected to drug smuggling and additionally another $50 million for failing to monitor cash used to transport twenty-two tonnes of cocaine. On top of all that the bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-money laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4 billion. Alongside that HSBC was fined $1.9 billion for money laundering of drug and terrorist money through its various operations.
Saviano has previously argued that Britain is the most corrupt place on Earth, and the main place for money laundering across the world. He told a gathering at the Hay literary festival earlier in the year: “If I asked you what is the most corrupt place on Earth you might tell me well it’s Afghanistan, maybe Greece, Nigeria, the South of Italy and I will tell you it’s the UK.”
Worryingly, the writer believes that trafficking cartels from Mexico, Italy, Columbia and other emerging criminal nations, act as multinational corporations and have now become distinct from the mainstream economy. Merging the criminal and the legal world could have a seriously damaging impact on the world, he says: “democracy is literally in danger.”
Zero, Zero, Zero is out now.