This week Italian authorities revealed that they conducted a sting on the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate, and revealed that the group was laundering drug money through their Malta licensed online betting network
‘Ndrangheta is considered to be one of the most powerful crime families in Europe, and is a huge transporter of cocaine to Europe from Latin America. The authorities announced that they seized €2 billion from Uniq Group Limited and Betsolution4U Limited, which also had 82 online betting sites and 1,500 retail shops operating through 60 different companies under different names.
The man heading the gambling operations for the crime family was Mario Gennaro, who was taken into custody along with five others (Margherita Giudetti (34), Francesco Ripepi (38), Alessandro Ciaffi (40), Rocco Ripepi (36) and Fortunato Stracuzzi (37). All of the men are awaiting extradition to Italy.
In response to the revelations the Malta Gaming Authority immediately suspended the gaming licenses of the companies, and issued a statement, which read:
"The MGA is providing full support to the relevant authorities so that Malta’s reputation as a gaming jurisdiction of excellence is kept free from crime and money laundering."
“The MGA is also alerting counterpart regulators in other EU jurisdictions about this case."
The MGA has also suspended the gaming license of Soft Bet Limited in relation to this case, ending the operations of Leo Jackpot Casino, a well-regarded online betting site.