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Mafia and immigration: analysis of the “illegal street workers” in southern Italy

Rita Duca (Faculty of Political Science, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to investigate on the new forms of the “illegal street workers” involving immigrants in southern Italy. This new concept may include, at least, two kinds of illegal employment of immigrants which is, probably, managed by local criminal organizations; in particular, it may refer to the so-called “posteggiatore abusivo” and “lavavetri”.


This is a new area of research. The methodology used has been based on a collection of interviews with these migrants. Probably, this methodology should be refined, but in this first phase of research, it was helpful in order to understand the existence of a criminal network that controls and manages these illegal street workers. For this reason, this paper could be, simply, considered as a starting point for a new investigation in the near future.


The first part of the paper will examine the main features of these three types of work; in particular, in order to do it, we will try to find out who are these workers, how they found this illegal work and, above all, what kind of working relationship exists between them and the criminal organizations. The second part will analyze what are the legal measures regulating this particular category of illegal work and which could be the innovative solutions in order to fight against them.


This paper offers insights into the new forms of crime involving immigrants managed by local criminal organizations and still inadequately studied.



Duca, R. (2014), "Mafia and immigration: analysis of the “illegal street workers” in southern Italy", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 395-401.



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