Brother of mafia supergrass shot dead on Christmas Day

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

Marcello Bruzzese, 51, was killed while he was returning 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 and fired at least 20 shots at him.

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

Following an internal conflict in the family, in October 2003 Girolamo shot Crea. 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’s confessions led to the arrests of several members of the ’Ndrangheta, including politicians with links to the crime family.

Marcello was not a member of the ’Ndrangheta and moved to Pesaro three years ago. Police are investigating whether the fatal shooting was revenge for Girolamo’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 €53bn (£44bn).