One of Italy’s most wanted has been arrested after 23 years on the run.
Rocco Morabito was the leader of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, Italy’s “most powerful organised crime group and one of Europe’s biggest importers of South American cocaine,” reports EWN.
The infamous group works with the Sinaloa Cartel, the Mexican drug cartel founded by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, explains Rebel Circus:
It was said that El Chapo liked working with the italians better than the Columbians or Peruvians because of their “harshness.”
Apparently, ‘Ndrangheta earns the equivalent of 3,5% of Italy’s gross domestic product (GDP), making £44 billion (R738 billion ) in 2014.
Morabito was arrested in the coastal resort city of Punta del Este [above], after Uruguayan police and Italian authorities worked together to determine his real identity:
Dubbed the “cocaine king of Milan”, Morabito had been wanted since 1994 after he was rumbled paying £6.1 million to import almost a tonne of the drug, Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.
Morabito initially ran away from convictions in Italy relating to “mob association, drug trafficking and other serious crimes”.
An international arrest warrant was then issued in 1995 with the aim of tracking down Morabito and “extraditing him to Italy, where he has been sentenced to 30 years in jail”.
According to BBC:
Morabito is believed to have arrived in Uruguay in 2002.
Police arrested Morabito in a hotel in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. But officials said he had settled in the resort of Punta del Este with false Brazilian identity papers in the name of Francisco Capeletto.
A police search of his properties revealed a 9mm gun, 13 mobile phones and 150 passport-sized photos of Morabito in different guises.
His wife was also detained.
According to his lawyer, Morabito has been leading “a normal life” since 1994 and has not engaged in any criminal activities since then.
He is currently being held in Uruguay for falsifying documents but is expected to be extradited to Italy in the coming months.
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