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Italy

Brother of Italian mafia ‘supergrass’ informant Girolamo Bruzzese is shot dead on Christmas Day

  • Marcello Bruzzese, 51, died in a hail of bullets fired by masked gunmen in Pesaro
  • He was not a member of the mafia, unlike his brother, who famously betrayed his bosses and went to police after failing to assassinate a prominent gangster
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 6:08am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 6:08am

The brother of a former mafia member who turned “supergrass” as a police informant was fatally shot on Christmas Day by two hooded men in what police suspect was a killing ordered by a clan of the powerful Calabrian mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta.

Marcello Bruzzese, 51, was killed on Tuesday evening while he was driving home in the historical centre of Pesaro, in the Italian region of the Marche.

According to the police, the killers, who were wearing balaclavas, waited near the victim’s apartment before firing at least 20 shots at the victim.

His father, Domenico, a lieutenant of the notorious boss Teodoro Crea, was killed in 1995 in what was thought to be a mafia ambush. Marcello’s brother, Girolamo Bruzzese, joined a crime family in Rizziconi, a town in the province of Reggio Calabria.

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Following an internal conflict in the family, in October 2003 Girolamo Bruzzese shot Crea, believing he had killed him.

A few days later, he went to the police and collaborated with the authorities to provide information about his former affiliates. Crea survived the murder attempt but was eventually arrested and is serving a prison sentence.

Girolamo Bruzzese’s confessions led to the arrests of several members of the ’Ndrangheta, including politicians with links to the crime family.

Marcello Bruzzese was not a member of the ’Ndrangheta and moved to Pesaro three years ago.

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Police are investigating whether the fatal shooting was a revenge against his brother’s confessions. According to la Repubblica, investigators believe the murder could be a “revenge from the past’’.

According to reports, the ‘Ndrangheta is thought to have hundreds of key affiliates in 30 countries, and its activities are believed to involve thousands of people worldwide.

A study by the Demoskopika research institute in 2013 claimed the ‘Ndrangheta made more money than Deutsche Bank and McDonald’s put together, with a turnover of €53 billion (US$60 billion).