Germany Wakes Up to Mafia Problem

Italian organized crime gains a foothold across the border
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 20, 2007 6:13 PM CDT
A sculpture of two fists, flowers and candles sit in front of the restaurant Da Bruno in Duisburg, western Germany, on Thursday morning, Aug. 16, 2007 after six Italian people were found dead on Wednesday....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Germany is finding its mafia problem harder to ignore after the murder of six men outside an Italian restaurant in Duisburg last week. The killings were part of a feud between two warring mafia clans, both of which have established major footholds in Germany, Der Spiegel reports. Police are now trying to crack down after years of lax enforcement.

The restaurant where the murders occurred was a known mob hangout, but because of tough evidence requirements, the vaunted code of silence, and a general unfamiliarity with the mafia's power structure, Germany has pursued few organized-crime prosecutions. That may be changing; after last week, one law-enforcement official allows, he's worried about "acts of revenge on German soil."