by Adeola Balogun
Police in Italy have discovered new details concerning a mafia family that shows that they enter blood covenants during initiation.
The information was contained in a strange document encoded in a secret code and three different languages.
The investigators were able to make some progress in cracking the code and discovered the startling ritual.
Daily Mail reports:
The encrypted pages were entirely covered in letters resembling Cyrillic, Arabic and ancient Chinese characters.
Investigators came across the document during a raid on the home of a murder suspect in Rome.
The document described the ‘so-called baptism’ into the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, Italy’s richest and most ruthless organised crime clan which is based in Calabria.During the secret ceremony the recruit must use a knife to cut his skin before swearing a solemn oath of ‘blood and honour’.
The initiate drinks his blood and swears ‘eternal allegiance to the honoured society’ promising to respect the rules of the clan, disown mother, father, brothers and sisters and settle all disputes cent for cent.’
The document lays down precise rules for the initiation rite ‘For the baptism, five people are needed – no more and no less,’ it said.
The oath must be recited three times as the number is considered powerful in Ndranghta tradition.
The ceremony should be carried out in a place that is consecrated by those present before with the process completed in reverse afterwards.
The three-page, hand-written document is steeped in quasi-religious superstition.
One section reads ‘How should you recognise a man of honour? With a gold star on his forehead, a knight’s cross on his chest and a gold palm in his hand.
‘And how will you recognise these fine objects that you cannot see? Because he wears them in his flesh, skin and bone.’
The 21-letter enigma was cracked by two police officers with an interest in codes and puzzle-solving.
They were initially flummoxed but a breakthrough came when they recognised the symbol that represented the letter C, which allowed them to gradually replace the other symbols with letters.
The document provides the most complete picture of ‘Ndrangheta initiations collected so far.