Mafia infiltration has reached Germany's Rhineland.
Italian mobsters have infiltrated "every sector in Germany", according to investigators, with the Sicilian mafia particularly active in the Rhineland.
Last Friday, a Cologne court began the trial of Gabriele S. - a Sicilian immigrant accused of tax fraud.
The case is part of the larger investigation called the Scavo Commission into mafia outreach in the Rhineland that has uncovered far more than shell companies and tax evasion.
"The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany from construction to alternative energy, from waste management to shareholding of large companies or banks.
"They buy votes and influence elections through bribery, corruption", said Roberto Scarpinato, attorney general of Palermo's court of appeals and anti-mafia pool, in an article published in Wired Italia.
According to Wired Italia, and in collaboration with Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI) and media publisher Funke, the mafia is "increasingly present in Germany".