OPERATION “CRNA GORA”
Operation “Crna Gora”, carried out by the Operational Centre in Bari from 1996 to 2009, started out as a wide-ranging criminal police investigation. It was later divided into five sub-branches which mostly investigated arms trafficking and tobacco smuggling between Montenegro and Italy.
These illegal activities were carried out by Mafia-type organizations from Apulia and Naples with the support of a large group of dangerous fugitives living in Montenegro. The investigation also identified the channels used to launder the proceeds of crime and revealed the existence of organizations which were handling the transfer of huge sums of money from Italy to Switzerland and that there was connivance between organized crime and representatives of Montenegrin institutions.
In this context 124 members of a Camorra-type criminal organization in which they played different roles were arrested (103 in execution of preventive custody orders and 16 in flagrante delicto). The most prominent among the arrestees were: Vaso BAOSIC, Chief of Police of Bar, Montenegro; Franco VERDA, President of Canton Ticino’s Criminal Court; Gerardo CUOMO, historic boss of the illegal tobacco trade; Giancarlo CORBELLI, a leading shipbuilder for smugglers; Francesco MORETTI, a Swiss lawyer and mastermind of a criminal organization engaged in money laundering between Italy and Canton Ticino.
Five prominent fugitives were also arrested, including Benedetto STANO, undisputed key figure in the criminal organization called Sacra Corona Unita, wanted on an international arrest warrant for mass murder, Mafia-type association and other offences.
During the investigations assets worth over €16 million, consisting mainly of cash or deposits in bank accounts, were seized from the clans.
The complex and well-organized operation led in particular to:
the arrest of several money couriers who were found in possession of large amounts of money derived from smuggling that was destined for Switzerland to be laundered.
 The Socialist Republic of Montenegro, in Montenegrin: Socijalistička Republika Crna Gora