Italian journalist Roberto Saviano presents book on global cocaine traffic

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Italian journalist and writer Roberto Saviano presented the French translation of his most recent book, Zero Zero Zero (Narratori Feltrinelli, 2013), which details the global economy of cocaine, on Friday, in Strasbourg.

This is the second book from the 35-year-old writer who received international acclaim for his first, Gomorrah (Mondadori, 2006), a narrative piece of journalism which uncovered details about the Camorra mafia operating in the Italian region of Naples.

Zero Zero Zero investigates the estimated 300 billion euro (about 383 billion U.S. dollars) international cocaine trade and by telling the stories of individual cases that show the scope to which the drug trade infiltrates everyday life.

"I decided to write this book just after the release of Gomorrah ... for vengeance," he said during his appearance at the Librairie Kleber bookstore in Strasbourg.

Employing the results of judiciary investigations, he recounts true events, ranging from the experiences of undercover narcotics agents, to those of small-time dealers.

One of the great revelations of recent times, he explained, would be the involvement of major banks in the United States and Europe in the laundering of money from drug cartels.

He cited recent fines for billions of dollars to HSBC in Europe and Wachovia of the Wells Fargo group in the United States for money laundering, claiming the banks would not have survived the financial crisis without the drug trade.

Saviano's first book, Gomorrah was translated in 51 countries and spawned a film adaption in 2008 of the same name, directed by Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone, which received high critical praise.

The book's success also led to several death threats for Saviano from the Italian mafia. He has been living under police protection for over six years.

Publishing house Gallimard released a French translation of Zero Zero Zero in October under the title Extra pure. An English translation will be released in the United Kingdom in November by publisher Allen Lane, and in the United States in April 2015 by Penguin Press. Endit

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