DIA functions and relations with law enforcement authorities in the field of preventive and criminal operations are regulated by the legislative decree n. 159 of 2011. On the basis of a thorough analysis of the Mafia-type actvities, DIA is in charge of predicting crime trends so to immediately target criminal investigations and more effectively cope with Mafia-type crimes.
The core of DIA activities is the following:
Anti-money laundering and suspicious transaction reports
Among the preventive activities carried out by the DIA to counter organized crime, mention must be made of the fight against the ever-complex use of the financial system in money-laundering operations.
Suspicious Transaction Reports are the core instrument of the above-mentioned preventive measures. They are submitted to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Bank of Italy by bank and financial brokers, professionals, other non-financial operators and gaming service providers, when there is the suspicion of money laundering and terrorist financing, attempted money laundering and terrorist financing or that the money, independently of its amount, is somehow the outcome of criminal activities.
According to the Italian law, the FIU shall transmit the suspicious transaction reports to the DIA, as far as the fight against mafia-type organised crime is concerned and to the Currency Police Unit of the Guardia di Finanza, as an investigative body specialised in the fight against economic and financial crimes. If crimes are ascertained the DIA and the Currency Police Unit shall transmit such reports to the National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor.
In this regard, the DIA Director may order accesses, checks, inspections and may request data and information about banks, financial brokers, professionals, non-financial operators, such as casinos, etc.
Monitoring of public procurements
With specific reference to the fight against mafia-type infiltration in public procurements, the legal and administrative framework in which the DIA operates aims at harmonizing the need for a centralized control with the need for a target-oriented approach at the local level. This approach follows two main strands and can be summarized as follows:
- to anticipate anti-mafia checks also implementing memoranda of understanding between the Prefectures, the entities awarding the procurement contract and the contracting parties so to forbid the participation of companies that do not comply with the law provisions;
- to protect the activities at construction sites from any pressure by criminals also through the access to construction sites by the interagency groups.
- The DIA activity in this specific sector basically consists in:
- monitoring the companies which were awarded the procurement contract so to ascertain that no violation is committed, under penalty of exclusion from the procurement;
- carrying out inspections at construction sites in order to monitor the works underway. Such activities also aim at safeguarding the work carried out at construction sites, considering that this sector is highly vulnerable to the pressure by criminals, and that they can exert pressure in different ways.
At the central level, the DIA’s monitoring activity is carried out through the Observatory on Pubic Procurements, which gathers and processes the data coming from the accesses to construction sites ordered by the competent Prefectures and carried out by the interagency provincial groups.
Personal and asset-related preventive measures
All the different components of preventive investigations aim at identifying and attacking the assets that are illicitly gained by mafia-type crime groups. The preventive procedure is something unique at the legal level, since it is based on the principle of “reasonable assumption” rather than on evidence and considering that the application of preventive measures has a major impact on economic initiative and private property.
The DIA Director has the power (in Italy only the Questori – the highest State Police authorities at the provincial level - the Public Prosecutors and the Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor have the same power) to autonomously request the application of personal and asset-related preventive measures in order to undermine the foundations of mafia-type crime groups and their ability to set up apparently legal businesses.
This power is exercised both relying on criminal police investigations through the so called “double track” approach and on the information resulting from operational analysis. Such measures aim at neutralizing the criminal activity of individuals who are considered “socially dangerous” by our legal system and who are more likely to go on committing crimes. Another assumption for the application of asset-related preventive measures is the disproportion between the income and the purchase or availability, whether directly or through third persons, of assets and businesses.
To this end, the DIA Director and the other authorities who are entitled to request the application of preventive measures may order to carry out financial or asset-related checks against the affected party and his/her relatives.
Criminal police investigations
The fight against organized crime is focused on strategically selected targets, which are attacked as a whole in order not to waste information or investigative resources. The DIA:
- plans investigations and coordinates criminal police investigations, closely cooperating with the law enforcement offices and agencies, which provide full support to the investigators.
- investigates into criminals rather than into single crimes;
- does not intervene on the basis of a “notitia criminis”, preferring to analyse the phenomenon as a whole and the framework of the offence of criminal association in order to identify the single members, their responsibilities and roles, their criminal attitudes and behaviours;
- collects and develops information;
- checks the results of the relevant criminal police investigations, coordinating the operations;
- supports the investigations in terms of technical means and, in case of joint investigations, it provides assistance to the local law enforcement offices.
- works out standard operational procedures
The 2nd Branch is the criminal police investigation service, assisting the judicial authority. In particular, the head of the 1st division acts as “Officer in charge of the DIA criminal police services” at the central and local level, that can assist the National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor - as envisaged by the decree of the Minister of the Interior dated 12 September 1992 - on the basis of the directives issued by the Head of the Branch. In this framework, the 2nd Branch is the core of the DIA as far the strategic and investigative fight against organized crime groups is concerned. The heads of the local offices are the direct counterparts of the Anti-Mafia District Prosecutors.
For investigative purposes, the DIA:
- Promotes and develops, also through bilateral and multilateral agreements, the links with foreign counterparts so to better fight against organized crime groups, which are often interconnected at the international level;
- develops and supports the relations with the international bodies involved in the fight against organised crime groups;
- provides investigative support to liaison officers and law enforcement agencies of other countries;
- manages the activities of law enforcement officers at the international level, without prejudice to the duties of the international police cooperation service;
- plans the deployment of personnel in relation to specific investigations underway, with international connections.
The DIA, which has an important staff of interpreters, encourages and develops the information and operational links with the foreign counterparts specialized in the fight against organized crime. It participates in the main law enforcement multilateral cooperation fora focused on the prevention and fight against transnational organized crime.
The exchange of information involves the main investigative agencies of the EU countries and the law enforcement agencies of other continental areas (non-EU countries, America, Asia, Africa e Oceania).
On 4 December 2014, the Council of the European Union unanimously approved the DIA Italian initiative to set up the @ON Operational Network in order to:
- to strengthen the fight against organized crime groups, focusing on the groups posing a major threat to the European security and on their high-ranking members;
- to encourage the deployment of on-site specialised investigators in all member states in case of investigations into cross-border organized crime groups.
The purpose of @ON is to strengthen transnational law enforcement cooperation to counter the main organized and mafia style crime groups, which have an impact on the EU Member states, focusing on the organised crime groups as such, regardless of the crime committed.
The criminal groups under investigation are mainly Italians, ethnic Albanians, Eurasians, motorcycle gangs, but also emerging crime groups (Nigerian, Chinese, Turkish, etc. mafia-style crime groups.) posing a serious threat to the EU security and economy.
The Inspection and Logistics Support Office is in charge of assessing the overall performance end efficiency of the DIA offices based on the analysis of audit evidence and other data. It checks that the DIA central and local branches comply with the relevant regulations, provisions, directives, administrative and operational procedures; it works out the year and multi-year plan of the DIA needs with reference to information technology, telecommunications, technical equipment, vehicles, weapons, clothing, barracks and infrastructures. The Office is responsible for controlling the use and management of the vehicle fleet and of the ordinary equipment. It evaluates the suitability of the real assets identified and assigned to the DIA, their management and maintenance. It carries out studies and researches on the more advanced investigative information and technological solutions; it installs and manages IT systems; it controls and checks the proper functioning of the telematics links and networking between all workstations and with the connected databases; it outlines the management procedures governing physical and logical security of the networks and their relevant security policies.
The Cabinet Office acts as a link between the DIA offices, branches, field offices, with the relevant offices and directorates of the Department of Public Security, the General Commands of the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza and with the Department of Prison Administration. The Cabinet Office is responsible for general affairs, it provides secretariat and support to the Director; it handles the correspondence; it is in charge of the archive and of the confidentiality and information security office; it is responsible for the relations with the press and media and is in charge of external relations; it carries out studies and provides technical and legal advice; it is responsible for the relations with trade unions; it outlines the measures for the protection of personal data, providing the link with the 6th Office – Data Security of the State Police – of the Department of Public Security. It ensures that the obligations in the field of transparency, anticorruption, health and security at working places are applied.
The DIA organizes training and refresher courses on legal and technical matters as well as on investigation techniques (use of the different databases, including the interagency database -SDI - etc). In this regard, in order to encourage law enforcement bilateral cooperation on strategic issues, such as the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking, the DIA signed ad-hoc agreements with several foreign law enforcement agencies. In this framework, the DIA has organized several dedicated “training sessions” in favour of the law enforcement agencies of many European countries, such as Albania and Greece. Since 2021 the DIA Training Section has organized no. 4 dedicated training courses on “investigation techniques to fight against organized crime”. The courses were held “in person” at the DIA headquarters by DIA expert senior officers/officials. Over 100 hours of dedicated training on the fight against national and transnational organized crime groups have been provided to foreign law enforcement officers.
As part of the training obligations foreseen by the National Framework Agreement and by the Collective Labour Contracts, in agreement with the relevant administrations, the DIA promotes training, refresher and qualification courses in favour of all its staff.
Training courses in favour of the DIA senior officers/officials
Training courses are also organized in favour of senior officers/officials working at the DIA central and local offices. Regular and dedicated courses in favour of newly assigned DIA senior officers/officials are held by the high-ranking officers/officials of the different DIA branches.
Training on Shooting, Operational Techniques and Management of the DIA Armory
Shooting and Operational Techniques are another sensitive and important subject of the training and refresher courses provided to the DIA staff. The training in this field is an indispensable pre-requisite to consolidate the adequate professional skills so that each officer is ready to manage complex situations and promptly react to the different operational scenarios under conditions of security. All the DIA staff is requested to be confident with the shooting techniques and with their weapons, under conditions of security. In this regard, particular attention is paid to the following areas:
- management of the organizational and logistical aspects to work out the month calendar of the shooting and operational techniques sessions in favour of the DIA staff at DIA headquarters and at the DIA Field Office in Rome;
- control and management of the assigned weapons, equipment and clothing.