Bucci, the much-loved family restaurant in Balham was used to launder money for the powerful and notorious Italian Mafia group,'Ndràngheta.
Edoardo Archetta, a father of three, first opened Bucci, on Balham High Street, 33 years ago. Over time it became the kind of establishment that completes a neighbourhood, loved by regulars for its authentic homely Italian cooking.
The bistro was so authentic in fact, that Archetta was using it as one of many fronts to launder dirty money for the 'Ndràngheta group.
The Mafia group is based in Calabria, at the toe of Italy. Despite being founded in the 19th century, the southern Italian group did not come onto police radars, in Italy, until 2002. Even then, their far reaching influence wasn't know until this year.
After almost 15 years of investigation, it is estimated that 'Ndràngheta ran 70% of the cocaine in Europe. It extorts an estimated €7 billion a year from businesses in southern Italy.
But it wasn't until the last 18 months that they came onto the radar of UK police.
Archetta was part of a group of Italians who funnelled money through businesses in the UK, including Bucci and a bureau de change in Paddington. The cash was cleaned and funnelled out of the country to winery warehouses in Italy, France and Germany.
Bucci is still open and believed to be under new management.
Source: https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/new ... drangheta/