Criminal enterprises - like their legitimate counterparts - have suffered during the pandemic-induced economic crisis. But the Italian Mafia has already laid the foundation for a massive payday.

Last year, when countries were seized by lockdowns, the Mafia started infiltrating cash-starved companies in a bid to siphon money from the EU's recovery fund and the €1.8-trillion (about R32.5-trillion) that will, in part, start flowing to struggling firms later this year, according to Maurizio Vallone, Italy's top investigator on organised crime...

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