Massimo Carminati
Massimo Carminati in his younger days and as the feared one-eyed mob bossWikiCommons/La Repubblica

Italian authorities have arrested two alleged members of the ruthless Calabrian mafia, the 'Ndrangheta, under charges of forging criminal links with the 29 June co-operative and the mob headed by legendary one-eyed neo-fascist Massimo Carminati who is nicknamed The Last King of Rome.

The suspects were allegedly acting as middlemen between the Mancuso 'Ndrangheta gang and the Rome mafia in order to conduct criminal affairs and win public contracts, including the daily cleaning of historic Esquilino open-air market in the Italian capital.

The Rome crime group, investigated in the "Capital Mafia" probe, handed a contract for the market cleaning to the suspected Calabrian mobsters. The Calabrians agreed in exchange to allow a business tied to the Roman gang to manage immigration centres in their territory, according to a statement from the paramilitary Carabinieri police.

The man at the centre of the investigation is Salvatore Buzzi, head of the 29 June co-operative, identified as the "entrepreneurial right hand" of top boss Carminati. Buzzi was arrested along with 36 other people in raids last week.

Wire-tapped phone conversations between Buzzi and the two 'Ndrangheta men allegedly prove collusion between the two criminal organisations. The 29 June co-operative is accused of bribing officials to win contracts, from the management of migrant holding facilities and Roma camps to the upkeep of public gardens.

In a wire-tapped phone conversation, Buzzi is heard saying: "Do you know how much you earn from immigrants? Drug trafficking earns less."

At the top of the vast, Mafia-style criminal organisation was Carminati. A former member of the Italian neo-fascist militant organisation NAR, Carminati is claimed to have deeply infiltrated Rome's political, administrative and entrepreneurial worlds.

Rome's far-right ex-mayor Gianni Alemanno, also a former member of the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) party, has been placed under investigation for alleged links with the boss.

At the heart of the probe is a "ramified corruptive system" that is involved in awarding public contracts put out for tender by Rome municipality. Prosecutor Flavia Costantini confirmed that there were deep relationships between Alemanno and Carminati.

Nicknamed il Guercio (the One-eyed) after being shot by a Carabinieri in 1981, Carminati was a fearless killer and thief who has been accused of many high-profile homicides in Italy's tumultuous recent years. Surprisingly enough, Carminati never received long prison sentences and rebuilt his criminal career in the past 10 years to become the "last king of Rome".

In November 1981, Italian authorities discovered weapons linked to NAR hidden in the basements of the Health ministry. According to a Banda della Magliana pentito (turncoat), Carminati was the only one who could freely access the weapons cache due to his relationship with some Italian secret agents.

La Banda della Magliana and NAR have been linked to some of the bloodiest events in Italy's history, such as the assassination of Aldo Moro, the Piazza della Loggia bombing and the Bologna massacre.

The One-eyed inspired the character of il Nero (the Black) in Italy's successful TV series Romanzo Criminale, which was showed in the UK in 2011. The dark show chronicles the misfits of Banda della Magliana as they wreak hell in Rome.

From the mountains of southern Italy, the 'Ndrangheta mafia has become Europe's heavyweight drug cartel, establishing ties with the drug barons in South America and spreading their wings of influence to northern Italy.

Strict blood ties means turncoats are few compared with Camorra in Naples and Cosa Nostra in Sicily. "You'll never be able to denounce your brother because you would split up the family, and that's the worst that can happen for a 'Ndrangheta member," Marcello Ravveduto, a researcher with at Salerno University, told IBTimes UK earlier in November.