Charbonneau commission hears about Mafia corruption in Ontario
An Ontario police officer has testified in a public inquiry that the Italian Mafia's reach in that province extends to all kinds of legitimate businesses that mask criminal proceeds.
Mike Amato, a detective with the York Regional police, is testifying today before the Quebec inquiry looking into allegations of corruption in the province's construction industry.
Amato, describing the Mob picture in Ontario, says Mafia-controlled businesses in the region he works in include everything from garden centres to financial institutions to banquet halls.
The veteran officer says the modern-day Mafia is dressed in business suits, works 9-to-5 hours and holds jobs ranging from banker, to accountant to bus driver.
Amato says the reach in Ontario extends to certain construction-related industries like trucking, home-building and excavation and he says these businesses are difficult to compete against because they are infused with illegal cash.
Amato's testimony comes following reports this week by Radio-Canada and the Toronto Star that suggested that the secretive Calabrian Mob sits atop the criminal food chain in Canada.
The report says that organized crime has infiltrated Ontario at least as much, or even more, than in Quebec. That has prompted Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to demand proof for such claims.
Amato says that in terms of sheer numbers, the 'Ndrangheta, or the Calabrian Mafia, is the strongest group in Ontario.
The Calabrian Mob is believed to have a strong presence in Ontario.
The Sicilian Mafia, notably the Rizzuto family, is based out of Montreal.
Photo: via Internet