Siderno Group

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The Siderno Group is a criminal association in Canada and Australia related to the 'Ndrangheta, a Mafia-type organisation in Calabria. The association is labelled the "Siderno Group" because its members primarily came from the town of Siderno on the Ionian coast in Calabria and migrated to Canada and Australia in the 1950s.[1][2]


The Siderno crime group operates throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and Europe and is composed of a group of families who are related by blood or marriage. Siderno is home to one of the 'Ndrangheta's biggest and most important clans, the Commisso 'ndrina, involved in the global cocaine business and money laundering.[3] According to the Siderno police force, "The criminal minds of Siderno are in Canada." One of them, Antonio Commisso, was arrested in June 2005.[1]

The group has moved narcotics over three continents. They had contacts in Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile and Peru, and had permanent representation in Colombia for drugs and in Costa Rica and Panama for money laundering. Its key man in Colombia, Roberto Pannunzi, was arrested in Medellin (Colombia) in 1994. In the past, he had been in charge of heroin shipments from Turkey through Italy to the United States.[4]


In Canada, in particular in the Greater Toronto Area, the Siderno group includes the Coluccio, Tavernese, DeMaria, Figliomeni, Ruso, and Commisso crime families. Leaders are both based in Calabria and Ontario.[5] The group was built up by Michele (Mike) Racco, urged by Antonio Macrì, the undisputed boss of Siderno until he was killed in January 1975. Mike Racco had been initiated to the local 'ndrina and moved to Canada in the early 1950s.[2][6]

The group was at the centre of a criminal business such as drug trafficking, cigarette smuggling, extortion, and gambling. The organisation managed to gain high levels of income from these activities in Canada, but the affiliated persons used to maintain tight links with the small and poor town of Siderno. In fact the organisation of the group was controlled from Siderno or in accordance with clans based there.[2]

A recently discovered Canadian connection was Cosimo Stalteri, considered to be the boss of one of 10 ‘Ndrangheta clans in Ontario, based in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and London. A retired Woodbridge businessman he was credited with helping take the Calabrian Mafia in Toronto from a poor group of immigrants to a powerful criminal organisation.[7]


The Australian version of the Siderno Group was involved in drug and arms trafficking. In the Australian case too, businesses were carried out in very tight relation with the Siderno families or families coming from the surroundings of the town.[2]


  1. ^ a b Why Italy's scariest Mob loves Canada, National Post, November 24, 2007
  2. ^ a b c d Myths, Legends, and Affiliation Practice s in the Italian Mafioso Imagery: the Local Dimension of Power of a Global Phenomenon by Ercole Giap Parini , paper prepared for the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) at the Conference in Marburg, 2003
  3. ^ (Italian) Gratteri & Nicaso, Fratelli di Sangue, p. 133
  4. ^ Cooperation Between Organized Crime Groups Around The World, by Alison Jamieson, Jahrbuch für internationale Sicherheitspolitik 1999, December 1999 ISBN 3-8132-0599-1
  5. ^ Man ordered deported over alleged mob ties, National Post, April 8, 2010
  6. ^ Schneider, Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada, pp. 311-14
  7. ^ Calabrian Mafia boss earned mob’s respect, The National Post, February 14, 2011