Griffith’s murky past has again been thrust into the spotlight as a new book promises to tell the “inside story” of the world’s biggest ecstasy haul and how the mafia nearly got away with it.
Busted, written by Melbourne journalist Keith Moor, names Pasquale Barbaro and Saverio Zirilli as two of the “Mr Bigs” behind a shipment of 15 million ecstasy tablets sent from Italy to Australia in 2007.
Barbaro was later jailed for 30 years and Zirilli for 18 years for their involvement.
The shipment, hidden in a wall of three-kilogram tomato cans aboard the bulk carrier MV Monica, weighed 4.4 tonnes and had a street value of $122 million.
The book also looks at the history of the Calabrian Mafia in Australia and makes several references to murders and arrests in Griffith and the surrounding area in an exhaustive “Calabrian Mafia History” section.